Presentation Abstract

The lack of a centralized, standardized, and easily accessible repository of information on the state of natural resources, and threats to them, can undermine efforts to make informed, transparent, and evidenced-based management and conservation decisions. This is the case with Pacific salmon in British Columbia (BC), where a lack of information on the current status of salmon population and their habitats is undermining public confidence in the ability of government agencies to sustainability manage Pacific salmon populations. In an effort to provide broader public access to salmon datasets, the Pacific Salmon Foundation embarked on a major initiative to synthesize the best available information on Pacific salmon populations and their freshwater habitats throughout northern and central BC. Drawing upon these experiences, we illustrate how broadly available government datasets can be used to monitor and assess the status of salmon populations and their habitats. We show how large public datasets can help to provide information on a suite of indicators of salmon population condition including estimates of freshwater production, spawner abundance, harvest, trends in abundance, run-timing, population productivity, and assessments of biological status. This biological information is coupled with remote-sensed data that is used to quantify cumulative pressures on freshwater salmon habitats. All of this information is made available to the public through the Pacific Salmon Explorer (www.salmonexplorer.ca), an online data visualization tool that allows users to explore salmon-related information through a series of interactive maps and figures as well as download source datasets. While initially developed for northern and central BC, the PSF is now scaling the Pacific Salmon Explorer up to all salmon-bearing watersheds in BC, including those that enter into the Salish Sea. Our novel and scalable approach provides a model for how large quantities of disparate information can be compiled, analyzed, and communicated to decision-makers and the public.

Session Title

Salmon in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Salmon status, Biological, Habitat, Indicators, Cumulative data, Visualization

Conference Track

SSE11: Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE11-628

Start Date

6-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:15 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 11:00 AM Apr 6th, 11:15 AM

The Pacific salmon explorer: a data driven look at salmon populations and their habitats

The lack of a centralized, standardized, and easily accessible repository of information on the state of natural resources, and threats to them, can undermine efforts to make informed, transparent, and evidenced-based management and conservation decisions. This is the case with Pacific salmon in British Columbia (BC), where a lack of information on the current status of salmon population and their habitats is undermining public confidence in the ability of government agencies to sustainability manage Pacific salmon populations. In an effort to provide broader public access to salmon datasets, the Pacific Salmon Foundation embarked on a major initiative to synthesize the best available information on Pacific salmon populations and their freshwater habitats throughout northern and central BC. Drawing upon these experiences, we illustrate how broadly available government datasets can be used to monitor and assess the status of salmon populations and their habitats. We show how large public datasets can help to provide information on a suite of indicators of salmon population condition including estimates of freshwater production, spawner abundance, harvest, trends in abundance, run-timing, population productivity, and assessments of biological status. This biological information is coupled with remote-sensed data that is used to quantify cumulative pressures on freshwater salmon habitats. All of this information is made available to the public through the Pacific Salmon Explorer (www.salmonexplorer.ca), an online data visualization tool that allows users to explore salmon-related information through a series of interactive maps and figures as well as download source datasets. While initially developed for northern and central BC, the PSF is now scaling the Pacific Salmon Explorer up to all salmon-bearing watersheds in BC, including those that enter into the Salish Sea. Our novel and scalable approach provides a model for how large quantities of disparate information can be compiled, analyzed, and communicated to decision-makers and the public.