CP:The Role of Forage Fishes in Marine Ecosystems
Susan B. Gibson
fnsbg at aurora.alaska.edu
Wed Apr 19 21:21:24 EST 1995
The Alaska Sea Grant College Program announces:
THE ROLE OF FORAGE FISHES IN MARINE ECOSYSTEMS
November 13-15, 1996 Anchorage, Alaska
CALL FOR PAPERS
Forage fishes are abundant schooling fishes that are preyed upon by
seabirds, marine mammals, and other fish species. They are important to
the ecosystem because they transfer energy from primary or secondary
producers to higher trophic levels. Yet, except for the species that are
commercially exploited, they tend to be among the least studied fishes
the sea. Changes in the populations of marine mammals, seabirds, and
commercially important fishes worldwide underscore a need to better
understand trophic relationships.
The conveners of this symposium wish to bring together international
experts on forage fishes to discuss links between these species and
predators and prey. Because some species of forage fishes are well
in some ecosystems and poorly investigated in others, there is much to
gained by sharing knowledge in an international forum. By highlighting
trophic links within a number of marine ecosystems worldwide, we hope to
better understand changes that occur at higher and lower trophic levels
and to identify gaps in knowledge about forage fishes that require
The primary objective of the symposium is to provide findings to assist
in the multispecies management of Alaska marine ecosystems, with a focus
on the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska including the Exxon Valdez oil
region. While the concept for this symposium was developed by scientists
and resource managers in Alaska, it is envisioned that the management of
ecosystems worldwide will benefit from this information exchange.
The three-day program will have invited and contributed presentations
a poster session followed by workshops for synthesis development. For
purposes of this meeting the definition of forage fishes includes, but
limited to: anchovy, capelin, eulachon, herring, gadoids, juvenile
mackerel, myctophids, osmerids, Pacific sandfish, sandlance, sardine,
Contributed papers and posters are welcome on any of the above species
or other similar species and the role they play in the ecosystem.
Some of the questions we hope to answer include:
Are forage fish indicators of ecosystem health? What level of
understanding is needed to manage forage fish?
Many forage species have proven hard to assess using standard
methods. Are there new methodologies, especially in the area of
remote sensing,that may provide improved assessment capability?
To what degree does abundance variation of marine forage fish
on changes in oceanographic and meteorological conditions?
How extensive are multispecies interactions among fish, marine
mammals, and seabirds in competition for food? Are there strong
predator-prey links in which the abundance of forage species
predator species and vice versa? Can predation by forage fish on
life stages impact population levels of commercially important
Does single species management adversely impact forage fish? Does
a multispecies/ecosystem management regime better protect forage
Are there examples of successful multispecies/ecosystem management,
especially in arctic regions?
What types of research and assessments and what level and frequency
of data collection are needed to incorporate forage fish into an
To contribute a paper or poster to the symposium, submit an abstract of
300 words or less by e-mail no later than January 31, 1996. Abstracts
indicate whether they are for a paper or poster and include: title,
contact person, mailing address, electronic address, phone number, and
Submit abstracts by electronic mail to:
FNBRM1 at aurora.alaska.edu
NOTE: E-mail your name, mailing address, and numbers to the above
ID for a full copy of the brochure and to be put on the snail-mail list.
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