Project Title: Role of deep-sea corals and sponges as habitat for managed species
Goal or Purpose

To convene a Summit of researchers with expertise in understanding DSC-groundfish connections. This group will develop summaries of best available science on the relationship of groundfishes and DSC and clear statements regarding the role of DSC conservation in the sustainable management of groundfishes.

Anticipated Management Application(s)

Anticipated outcomes of this Summit will be (1) a better understanding of what is currently known and not known about the association of fisheries species with deep-sea corals or sponges; (2) best practices or protocols for DSC surveys to identify potential EFH-DSC linkages; (3) a suite of metrics for evaluating deep-sea corals or sponges as habitat for fisheries species; (4) scientific information and approaches that may assist NMFS and the regional fishery management councils in making determinations related to the potential role of deep-sea corals or sponges as essential fish habitat (EFH) for managed fisheries species; and (5) clear statements regarding the role of DSC conservation in sustainable groundfish management.

Fiscal Funding:
  • FY 2015 @ $13,000

 
Region(s):
  • North Pacific Council
  • Pacific Council
Location(s):
  •  None Defined.
Project Type:
  • Regional Workshops
Point of Contact: Office of the Point of Contact:
  • NMFS SWFSC
Team Members:
  •  None Defined.
Project Title: Role of deep-sea corals and sponges as habitat for managed species
Methods/Approach

For this project, we will evaluate the role of DSC as habitat for groundfish species (particularly high-priority species identified in the 2014 NMFS Regional Habitat Assessment Prioritization for West Coast Stocks), and the role of DSC conservation in the sustainable management of these species. This project includes a Preparation Phase, initiated in FY14, during which a small steering committee of NMFS staff and a larger core working group of experts (both NMFS and academics) were established. An ongoing web-based seminar series, which includes 5-10 presentations, is being conducted to provide background to the core group on what is known and unknown about the association of groundfish species and DSC. Thus far the webinars have attracted significant interest nationwide, with over 50 people per event. The preparation phase, including the webinar series, will conclude prior to Phase 2.

During Phase 2 of this project, a 2.5-day Summit will be convened in 2015. This meeting will bring together the core working group to synthesize our understanding of the best available science related to DSC as habitat for managed species. The group will identify metrics to 
evaluate DSC as EFH for groundfishes, and develop clear statements regarding the role of DSC conservation in the sustainable management of groundfishes. 

Project Results and Management Outcomes  None Defined
Project Title: Role of deep-sea corals and sponges as habitat for managed species
Internal References:
  •  None Defined
 
Backlinks:
  •  None Defined

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