Scuba Diving Surveys Used to Estimate Pacific Herring Egg Deposition in Southeastern Alaska

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Scuba Diving Surveys Used to Estimate Pacific Herring Egg Deposition in Southeastern Alaska

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Title: Scuba Diving Surveys Used to Estimate Pacific Herring Egg Deposition in Southeastern Alaska
Author: Hebert, KP
Abstract: Pacific herring, Clupea pallasi, is an important species in the marine ecology of southeastern Alaska and is also harvested in subsistence and commercial fisheries. To ensure adequate stock size, prior to allowing commercial harvest, the Department of Fish and Game assesses the abundance of spawning populations. The stock assessment is based primarily upon two types of information: estimates of egg deposition and age composition of the spawning population. Each spring, a team of scuba divers conducts surveys to estimate egg deposition. Survey location is determined through aerial surveys and mapping of spawn along the shoreline. Dive teams conduct transects perpendicular to the spawn bed, beginning at the intertidal and ending in the sub tidal at a depth of about 35–50 ft. The goal of the surveys is to produce estimates of total egg deposition to index abundance. The index is a primary input of one of two models: age-structured or biomass accounting. Both models are used to estimate the current mature herring biomass and forecast mature biomass for the ensuing year. Estimates from 2010 dive surveys indicate that egg deposition was highly variable among stocks and Sitka Sound continues to be the largest herring stock in the region.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10188
Date: 2011

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