The North Pacific Fishery Management Council held a one-day Ecosystem Research Workshop on February 7th in conjunction with the Council’s February 5-12, 2018 meeting at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Seattle. A preliminary summary from the workshop is available. A full report will be presented to the Council at their June meeting in Kodiak, AK.
Workshop Information and Frequently Asked Questions
The workshop was built into the official Council meeting week schedule but was not part of the formally convened Council, Advisory Panel (AP), Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and Ecosystem Committee (EC) sessions. The workshop did not overlap with other scheduled meeting sessions and all Council, SSC, AP, and EC members were able to attend. The workshop agenda, schedule, and other materials are available through the agenda on the Council’s website.
What were the goals of the workshop?
The Council convened this workshop with the goal of engaging the broader Council community, including Council members, scientific and industry advisors, and stakeholders, in a discussion about how the growing body of ecosystem knowledge can be incorporated into the Council process. Specifically, this workshop:
- Provided all participants with a baseline understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on the region’s ecosystems and managed fisheries, and efforts at the regional, national, and international levels to understand, anticipate, and respond to these changes.
- Provided updates on key efforts by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center to provide the Council with information and tools that can support management under changing environmental conditions, and identifed opportunities for the Council community to provide input.
- Explored examples of the management challenges associated with changing resource conditions, and the information and tools that can help the Council and its stakeholders understand and respond to these changes.
- Identified potential next steps and opportunities for the Council community to stay informed of and provide input into scientific efforts, and consider how this knowledge can be incorporated into Council processes.
Who attends and how can the public participate?
The primary audience for this workshop included members of the Council, SSC, AP, and EC. Stakeholders and the public were also invited to attend and listen to workshop presentations. Smaller discussion groups were not broadcast. The workshop prioritized discussion among the Council and its advisory bodies, with opportunities for broader public participation as time allowed. Workshop presentations were broadcast live and PowerPoint presentations and other materials were posted to the workshop agenda and on the Council website at www.npfmc.org.
How the workshop was structured and what topics were covered?
The workshop included a balance of background presentations, small group breakout sessions, and large group discussions. Presentations aimed to build the Council community’s understanding of current scientific efforts to understand the impacts of climate change, explain how these efforts relate to one another, consider opportunities for input and feedback from the Council community, and support discussion of how this knowledge can contribute to the Council process.
What outcomes or next steps may result from the workshop?
Workshop discussions aimed to identify specific steps that the Council community could take to stay apprised of and provide input into scientific efforts, integrate this information into Council processes, and build capacity to prepare for and respond to change. While no decisions were made at this workshop, workshop discussions will inform the Council’s consideration and implementation of next steps in the future. A summary of workshop discussions was provided at the end of the February Council meeting, during the staff tasking session, during which the Council considered next steps. A workshop summary will be presented to the Council at the June 2018 meeting in Kodiak, Alaska.
Who planned the workshop?
The Ecosystem Research Workshop was a Council initiative. The Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum was enlisted by the Council to plan this workshop in partnership with a Steering Committee that included Council members and staff, SSC and AP members, and NOAA Fisheries scientists. The Fisheries Forum is a policy-neutral organization based at Duke University. Fisheries Forum staff facilitated workshop discussions and provided a workshop summary.