Science Panel Recommendation: Fund
Science Panel Comments: April 2011 comments: This program seeks to add to the existing body of knowledge that began under the PWS Herring Survey program in FY10. The proposed projects will provide both new and continuing information regarding the current status of herring in PWS. The data collected under this program will be made available to researchers and the public and will provide critical information for resource managers. The continuation of current outreach and education strategies from the PWS Herring Survey projects and the additional strategies in the proposal have the potential to provide effective means to disseminate information and engage the fishing community and other community members in understanding the results of the integrated monitoring program. The Panel recommends funding most components of this proposal, but reiterates the same serious concern about the data management components. Again the science panel strongly recommends that the Council provide assistance from an organization such as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) for peer review and technical assistance to the data management team. The success of this proposal will depend on the reliability of herring spawn surveys which are not part of the present groups of proposals. Herring assessments in PWS, and everywhere else in the eastern Pacific, use spawn surveys as an essential part of the assessment. The approach currently used in PWS differs from all others in the use of mile-days, whereas all other jurisdictions use a static measure of spawn, once spawning is completed. Also, the completeness of the spawn surveys has been questioned. (Note: these comments should not be construed as criticism of ADFG or their staff because the panel recognizes the effort and dedication made by such staff. On the contrary, the comments and recommendations related to spawn surveys should be seen as an initiative to provide assistance to field staff associated with herring assessment. The benefits of such assistance will accrue both to the science and management of PWS herring). Nearly all of the proposals are predicated on the availability of reliable herring spawning biomass assessments that are, in turn, dependent on accurate spawn surveys. To provide credible support for these proposals and for management advice future estimation of spawn must be made with a level of accuracy that consistent with that used in other jurisdictions. To provide credible management advice future estimation of spawn must be made with a level of accuracy that is required to support the assessments. There are concerns that substantial amounts of spawn may have gone undetected in some years and that some of the past spawn estimates may have been made inaccurately through error in the estimated width and density of spawn. Such concerns may not be valid but there is no way to determine this without additional work. Therefore to evaluate whether the accuracy and reliability of present and past estimation of herring spawn in PWS is accurate, we recommend developing diver-assisted surveys. The science panel noted that diver surveys, yielded different results in the past (details provided in Recommendations to Team Leader). This would also include an assessment model and biological sampling review. Herring Stock Assessment Modeling: A Science Panel Recommendation for Review Success of the herring program will depend on the reliability of ADF&G herring spawn surveys. Nearly all of the proposals are predicated on the availability of reliable herring spawning biomass assessments that are, in turn, dependent on accurate herring assessments. Herring assessments in PWS, like everywhere else in the eastern Pacific, use spawn surveys as an essential part of the assessment. The approach used in PWS, however, differs from all others in that PWS uses mile-days, whereas all other jurisdictions use a static measure of spawn, once spawning is completed. Herring assessments also rely on accurate bio-sampling for estimates of size and age of herring. Recently, the completeness of the spawn surveys has been questioned and many have questioned the reliability of the present assessments. Additional effort may be required for all aspects of herring assessments to ensure that they are done well and are well-regarded. These comments above should not be construed as criticism of ADFG or their staff, as their present staff are clearly dedicated and hard-working. To provide credible support for these proposals and for management advice future estimation of spawn must be made with a level of accuracy that consistent with that used in other jurisdictions. To provide credible management advice future estimation of spawn must be made with a level of accuracy that is required to support the assessments. June 2011 Individual panel member comments: Linkages among the projects is done in a thoughtful and detailed fashion. I see huge progress in how well the leaders of the herring program are viewing this Program as a whole and integrating its pieces. I commend the PIs. Specifically, the logistic coordination is compelling and achieves cost efficiencies as well as intellectual linkages. The temporal staging of various research efforts is likewise logical and well conceived. And I concur that the acoustics studies do involve three different efforts with different gear, sampling methods, and targets, so that any synergies are limited, largely to whether adult herring are encountered during sampling targeting juveniles and this is addressed.
Science Coordinator Recommendation: Fund
Science Coordinator Comments: I concur with the science panel. I also have serious concerns regarding the data program and would encourage the Council to assist the team by providing funding for a comprehensive review of the data program. I also concur with the science panel that the fundamental data that will be utilized by the program should be rigorously reviewed to ensure the best possible platform for the herring projects. I do believe that the data that has been gathered by ADF&G for PWS herring has been carefully gathered and reviewed. I would like to continue working with staff at ADF&G to determine what actions would have the greatest benefit to both the herring program and ADF&G managers. The possible addition of a staff position at ADF&G that would work closely with herring program would be of tremendous value to both the program and the management agency.
Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Recommendation: Fund
Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Comments: (Not Available)
Executive Director Recommendation: Fund
Executive Director Comments: April 2011 Comments There has been strong concern about the program’s data manager serving the entire program. Since April, the data manager’s work has been favorably reviewed, has submitted late deliverables to the Council and several data management options have been produced by this program and outside entities. These options presented are in conjunction with leaders in the field of heterogeneous scientific database management and are excellent options. I recommend the Council pursue one of these options to ensure successful management of the data produced by this and past Council-funded efforts.
In addition, the program and ADF&G have discussed what actions would enhance the program’s value to the management of herring. Both entities recommend the Council fund 70% of a ADF&G biometrician III or a fisheries scientist I to coordinate with the herring program and to also focus on a modeling effort. This is included in our draft administrative budget and has the strong support of individual Science Panel members. We have continued to decrease our admin budget, but are also positioning our staff and agency staff to support the long-term programs.
Trustee Council Decision: Fund
Trustee Council Comments: This team is selected as a preferred proposer.