Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marine Symposium Will Look at Chinook Salmon, Ocean Acidification Issues

Federal fisheries scientists speaking out on king salmon and ocean acidification issues will be among the keynote speakers at the 2013 Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage Jan. 21-24. The event is free and those interested can register at

Ed Farley of the Alaska Fisheries science Center’s Auke Bay Laboratories will deliver an address on Chinook salmon and the marine environment during the first day of the symposium. Jeremy Mathis, of the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, will discuss preparing for challenges of ocean acidification in Alaska.

Recent sharp declines in Chinook salmon returns to Alaska have led to disaster declarations by the state and federal government. There have also been two recent well-attended meetings, in Anchorage and then in the Matanuska Valley, to discuss issues related to the demise of the king salmon.

The Anchorage symposium included scientific presentations and panel discussions involving experts from the state, federal, university and private sectors that helped to identify knowledge gaps in Chinook salmon research.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has said he will include $10 million in his 2014 budget for a research initiative to study Chinook salmon issues.

Ocean acidification is another issue of major concern to Alaska fisheries.

Mathis noted that new data from ship-based and moored observations, species manipulation experiments and model outputs continue to show that ocean acidification is an imminent and potentially disruptive threat for coastal waters of Alaska. It is a complex problem that will require a multilateral approach to solve, but with a concerted, well-coordinated effort, we can sustain Alaska’s fisheries, Mathis said.

Also scheduled to give keynote addresses are Jessica Miller of the Oregon State University Department of fisheries and Wildlife, and Judith Connor of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

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