Wednesday, May 30, 2018

NPAFC Plans for International Year of the Salmon

Planning is underway for the 2019 International Year of the Salmon. In the coming months, core partners from Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States will be working with the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) to plan and announce details of a North Pacific opening event in Vancouver, BC in October of 2018, as well as a Gulf of Alaska signature project scheduled for March 2019 and detailed research plans. Research and outreach projects and events started in 2018 will continue through 2022.

Organizations and individuals concerned with salmon and interested in participating in this initiative are encouraged to contact the NPAFC.

The announcement came in the wake of the May 21-25 NPAFC 26th annual meeting in Khabarovsk, Russia. The organization also introduced its incoming two-year term officers President Suam Kim, Korea; Vice President James Balsiger, USA; and three committee chairpersons: Mike Carlson, Canada; Masa-aki Fukuwaka, Japan, and Vladimir Belyaev, Russia.

Balsiger is the administrator for NOAA Fisheries Alaska regional office, based in Juneau, Alaska. NPAFC’s current 2016-2020 science plan supports the organization’s primary objective of promoting conservation of anadromous populations of Pacific salmon and steelhead trout within the convention area and is integrated with the International Year of the Salmon initiative.

To review the progress of research and to promote International Year of the Salmon activities and outreach in member countries, a workshop is planned on “Salmon Ocean Ecology in a Changing Climate,” in Portland, Oregon on May 18-20, 2019, following the 27th annual meeting of NPAFC.

Workshop objectives include improving knowledge of the migration, distribution, growth and survival of salmon and their environment in the ocean and increasing understanding of the causes of variations in salmon production. The focus will also be on anticipating future changes in distribution and abundance of salmon and their marine ecosystems, as well as promoting International Year of the Salmon activities and outreach in salmon homing countries.

Salmon research cruise plans for the current year include surveys in the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, the southern Chukchi Sea, the northwestern and central North Pacific, and the southern Sea of Okhotsk.

NPAFC’s aim is that improved understanding of mechanisms that regulate the distribution and abundance of salmon will promote the conservation of anadromous populations, allow for better forecasts of salmon production trends in the future, and enhance sustainable fisheries management, food security and economic security. NPAFC officials said that with increasingly variable aquatic conditions, a more responsive and efficient approach to understanding and responding to changes is needed.

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