FI presents at the Pacific Seabird Group annual meeting

FI scientists Bill Sydeman and Heather Robinson presented at the Pacific Seabird Group annual meeting in Tacoma, WA, on February 23-25.  Bill's talk was "The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation (CalCOFI): 30 years of at-sea seabird observations and counting", and Heather presented on "Diet of Brandt's cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) during breeding season: A novel approach".  Bill was also a co-convener of the symposium "The values of long-term studies: Insight and synthesis".

New study describes ocean temperatures during the 2014-2016 marine heat wave

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters by Farallon Institute collaborator Chelle Gentemann, with FI scientist Marisol García-Reyes, describes the sea surface temperatures and wind characteristics along the U.S. West Coast during the 2014-2016 marine heat wave event, which was related to the heat wave event that took place in the Gulf of Alaska ("The Blob").  The nearshore warming in the California Current Ecosystem (along the coast of Washington-Oregon-California) began a few months following the development of the offshore Blob (January 2014) and ended in September 2016.  Warm waters were periodically dispersed each spring with the onset of the upwelling season, though the warm water temperatures quickly returned when winds calmed.  This study also demonstrated that during these three years, the upwelling season was somewhat weakened and its timing shifted, which can have serious consequences for biological communities in this ecosystem.

Results from this study were covered in an online National Geographic article on February 2, 2017.


Farallon Institute's Multivariate Ocean Climate Indicator (MOCI) published

Marisol Garcia-Reyes and Bill Sydeman have a new paper in the journal Ecological Indicators this week in which they publish the Multivariate Ocean Climate Indicator (MOCI).  MOCI is a regional indicator of marine environmental conditions for the central and southern California Current.  It accurately represents ocean-climate variability and major climate events such as El Ninos and the recent North Pacific phenomenon "The Blob".  MOCI also relates well to biological measurements across trophic levels, including copepod abundance, rockfish growth, and seabird reproductive metrics.  Since the data that are used to create MOCI are found online, MOCI is easily update-able and will be updated quarterly.  More information about MOCI and the index itself can be found here.  

New research on effects of upwelling variability on biological productivity and fisheries in East Africa

Farallon Institute scientist Marisol Garcia-Reyes is participating in a new research project that investigates Responses of biological productivity and fisheries to changes in atmospheric and oceanographic conditions in the upwelling region associated with the East African Coastal Current. The interdisciplinary group conducting this research, led by Dr. Mahongo at the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), includes scientists from Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, USA, and UK.  Marisol will participate in developing biophysical relationship models between oceanographic conditions and biological productivity in the region.

New study provides information on the role of forage fish in the California Current Ecosystem

Farallon Institute scientists Amber Szoboszlai, Julie Thayer, and William Sydeman co-authored a paper for a study that examined the role of forage fish in the California Current Ecosystem, and the results of this study were published in the journal Ecological Modelling.  In this research, the authors developed and used a food web model to analyze which species are predators of forage fish (such as sardine and herring) and how much the predators' diets are composed of forage fish species.  Results of this study show that many predator species consume multiple forage fish species (rather than focusing on just one type), which suggests that management on the ecosystem level rather than a species-specific level is likely to be a more successful approach to conservation.  Likewise, this information suggests that declines in forage fish populations can have far-reaching effects in marine food webs.  

Common Murre SE Farallon Island 07-05-08 2029.jpg

Bill Sydeman testifies to the State Senate on climate conditions during the 2015-2016 closed Dungeness crab fishery season

On April 28, Bill Sydeman was one of a group of scientists who testified before the California State Senate Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. The topic of the hearing was "Crab season and domoic acid: lessons learned", and Bill spoke in the section for "Ocean conditions, the West Coast algae bloom and domoic acid levels: Now, over the next year, and into the future". More information about the hearing can be found here, and video of the hearing is archived here (scroll down to 4/28/2016 Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture).  The slides from Bill's talk can be found in Presentations.

Photo by J. Newton, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Photo by J. Newton, California Department of Fish and Wildlife