FY18-20 NPSTI Talks

Projects funded under the National Protected Species Toolbox Initiative from FY18-20 were spotlighted at the monthly Fisheries Integrated Toolbox Technical meetings. Below are descriptions of the projects and recordings of the presentations.

Note: For now, only NOAA employees can view these recrodings when they are logged into their Google account. If you’re a NOAA employee and you’re having trouble viewing any of the recordings on this page, they can all be viewed in Google Drive, here.

Transcripts for all recordings are available upon request, contact us!

Automating Bycatch Estimation from the Western Pacific Longline Fishery

Brett Cooper (presenter, JIMAR, University of Hawaii) and Marti McCracken (PIFSC)

Abstract: Implementation of the automation of bycatch estimates will improve the ability for PIFSC to meet all bycatch estimation deadlines and has resulted in more scientific staff time to focus on unique, management-driven protected species questions that arise from circumstance. Providing the best estimates for protected species enables the regional fisheries managers to make well informed decisions. This project has developed several tools that will automate estimation of hundreds of bycatch species from the Western Pacific longline fisheries, including over 20 protected species. The project utilized code developed in 2018 to implement automated scripts that utilize the existing estimation methods to create user-friendly tools that a less technical person can use with minimal guidance from PIFSC bycatch estimation scientists. The results of these estimations can be easily filtered and searched in an interactive guided user interface (GUI).

Integrating Diverse Data Sources to Determine Seasonal Density Distributions of Protected Species

Jay VerHoef (presenter, AFSC), Peter Boven, Devin Johnson, Paul Conn, Brett McClintock, Josh London, Catherine Berchok, Stacie Hardy

Abstract: The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) has acquired massive quantities of data on protected species’ occurrence, abundance, movements, acoustic presence, and population structure. Yet for many species, areas, or seasons, our capabilities remain woefully inadequate for answering a fundamental management question: How many individuals would be expected to occur in a particular region of ocean at a particular time of year? The project focuses on developing and demonstrating novel statistical modeling approaches to combining different data types that have been collected for different purposes including dedicated scientific survey data with data from bio-logging studies, passive acoustic recordings, and platform of opportunity observations. The goal is to incorporate these data types in a rational framework that maximizes the information about spatial and temporal distribution while accounting for the uncertainties inherent in the data observation processes. Several R packages were produced and we investigated computationally efficient ways to combine model output from different data sources.

Integrating Chinook Catches from Directed Fisheries and Trawl Bycatch to Improve Distribution Information for Bycatch Avoidance and Impacts On Predators in a Changing Environment

Ole Shelton (presenter, NWFSC)

Abstract: This project contributes to expanding our understanding of Chinook susceptibility both to ocean fisheries (either as catch or bycatch) and availability to marine mammal predators. The goal is to further the development of a spatial model to include both spring and fall Chinook and to examine seasonal variability in abundance and distribution as well as spatial variability, based on the distribution of Chinook recoveries in multiple fisheries. The model incorporates oceanographic variables that may predict patterns across space and time.The project assesses implications for top predators (e.g., pinnipeds and endangered SRKW) and fisheries.

Development of Tools and Tool Documentation for Endangered and Threatened Salmonid Stocks

Elizabeth Holmes (presenter, NWFSC)

Abstract: The Puget Sound Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) includes 22 independent populations in 14 watersheds. Management of listed Chinook requires 5-year Status Reviews of listed population while management of non-listed Chinook salmon requires taking into account the potential impacts of harvest on listed Puget Sound Chinook. This project involves the development of a variety of tools and R packages to prepare the Status Reviews for listed populations and R packages for estimating rebuilding exploitation rates (RERs) used for this risk assessment. These packages include NWCTrends used for trend assessment using data from all populations within an ESU, repositories to integrate data, computations and text in Status Reports, DM to calculate Spawner-Recruit parameters using a dynamic model, and the Viability and Risk Assessment Procedure (VRAP) for simulating harvest effects. Together these tools move us forward towards a more unified framework for dynamic modeling and risk assessment of Pacific Northwest (PNW) salmonids.

Analysis & Applications to Improve Protected Species Assessments in the Greater Atlantic Region

Joshua Hatch (presenter, NEFSC), Heather Haas (NEFSC)

Abstract: The authors will discuss the development of a set of analysis and web applications that improve protected species assessments in the Greater Atlantic Region (GAR; Maine through Cape Hatteras). This project expands upon collaborations which resulted in the accumulation and analysis of behavioral data from greater than 150 high resolution satellite tags deployed on loggerhead sea turtles in the GAR. The project investigated loggerhead distribution in relation to commercial fishing effort and worked towards predicting impacts on loggerhead populations from thermal components of ecosystem change. The authors will discuss the three anticipated outputs of the project which include the development of an R shiny application for track reconstruction from satellite-tagging data, assessment of the overlap of commercial fishing effort and tagged loggerhead distribution in space and time, and use climate change scenarios to project loggerhead turtle distributions in the Greater Atlantic Region.

Estimating DPS-Specific Risk for Humpback Whales in the U.S. California Current

Alex Curtis (presenter, SWFSC), Angela Szesciorka (SWFSC), Jeff Moore (SWFSC),

Abstract: Large whale entanglement along the U.S. West Coast is a national priority and one of the highest priority issues for NOAA’s West Coast Regional Office. Decision tools that this project developed, will enable managers and stock assessment scientists to infer stock- or DPS-specific population and risk parameters will greatly facilitate decision-making. Tools developed include map products for estimating and predicting large whale occurrence and the relative density of different DPS’s along the US West Coast and for estimating the likelihood of an entangled whale being from a particular DPS; map products for estimating and predicting high-risk areas for entanglement; estimates and methods for future estimation of DPS-specific population size and mortality; methods for combining photo ID, hormonal and genetics data to make population inferences for DPS’s. Other Inferences from these analyses and tools will ultimately inform jeopardy analyses, humpback whale stock assessments, and ESA- and MMPA-based management of these populations.