Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project- Novel Approaches, Project Status and Key Findings

Description

The Strait of Georgia (SoG) is a highly productive ecosystem that supports commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries, in particular for salmon. However, Chinook and Coho salmon abundances have declined significantly during the past 20 years. As part of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, physical and biological conditions in the SoG were monitored during 2015 for comparison with the growth and survival of juvenile salmon in the Strait. We present results from a comprehensive zooplankton monitoring program used to identify the seasonal status and trends of the species composition and biomass/abundance of these animals in the SoG. We used a novel three tiered approach to sampling in the SoG to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of zooplankton sampling, involving citizen science vessels, a chartered inshore survey vessel, and large seagoing ‘institutional’ oceanographic vessels. Sampling was conducted at approximately 20 locations in the Strait of Georgia, every two weeks from mid-February to mid-October 2015. Sea surface temperatures in the Strait of Georgia in 2015 were warmer than normal and near record temperatures in the first half of the year, and this was the earliest spring phytoplankton bloom since 2005. We found that the timing of important events (e.g. blooms) and species composition of the zooplankton can differ among sub-basins and regions within the Strait of Georgia. We use time-series data from selected locations to place the 2015 data into a long-term context, with the ultimate goal to compare these results with variations in the marine survival of juvenile salmon in this region.

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Would prefer a 15 minute talk

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Zooplankton status and trends in the Strait of Georgia, Canada in 2015, an unusually warm year

2016SSEC

The Strait of Georgia (SoG) is a highly productive ecosystem that supports commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries, in particular for salmon. However, Chinook and Coho salmon abundances have declined significantly during the past 20 years. As part of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, physical and biological conditions in the SoG were monitored during 2015 for comparison with the growth and survival of juvenile salmon in the Strait. We present results from a comprehensive zooplankton monitoring program used to identify the seasonal status and trends of the species composition and biomass/abundance of these animals in the SoG. We used a novel three tiered approach to sampling in the SoG to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of zooplankton sampling, involving citizen science vessels, a chartered inshore survey vessel, and large seagoing ‘institutional’ oceanographic vessels. Sampling was conducted at approximately 20 locations in the Strait of Georgia, every two weeks from mid-February to mid-October 2015. Sea surface temperatures in the Strait of Georgia in 2015 were warmer than normal and near record temperatures in the first half of the year, and this was the earliest spring phytoplankton bloom since 2005. We found that the timing of important events (e.g. blooms) and species composition of the zooplankton can differ among sub-basins and regions within the Strait of Georgia. We use time-series data from selected locations to place the 2015 data into a long-term context, with the ultimate goal to compare these results with variations in the marine survival of juvenile salmon in this region.