NOSB 2006 Research Project: Ecosystem-based management of a local Alaskan marine resource

The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Pew Oceans Commission, the U.S. Ocean Action Plan, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) Reauthorization Bill all call on the United States to adopt "ecosystem-based management." This will require an integrated approach to management that considers all ecosystem components, including humans, and the linkages between physical (climate and habitat) forcing factors (such as currents, ice cover, substrates, contaminants), and exploited and nontarget biological species. The goal of ecosystem-based management is to maintain a healthy, productive, and resilient ecosystem that supports the services that humans want and need. Implementing an ecosystem-based approach will require balancing ecosystem knowledge with uncertainties in the context of multiple external influences (both natural and human-induced). This will require place-based, regional management that may transcend traditional political boundaries.

The Research Project

This project will count as 50 percent of the 2005 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation of the project will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.

The Topic

The research project for the 2006 Tsunami Bowl will be to:

Develop a plan for implementing an ecosystem-based approach to management of a local marine resource.

Teams must choose a specific commercial, sport, or subsistence resource that needs to be managed for sustainability within an ecosystem approach.

Teams will describe their ecosystem and their target species' role in it, develop a multispecies management plan, and then prioritize what research is needed.

Specifically, teams should address:


General writing, research, and presentation resources

Basic steps in the research process

General writing concerns (planning/writing/revising)

Hints for giving oral presentations using PowerPoint [PDF; 2.7 MB]

Finding information on the Internet (Univ. of California Berkeley)

Search the Internet and find Websites (UC Berkeley)

Internet tutorials (University at Albany, State Univ. of New York)

Fisheries management links of interest

For state management

For fisheries within territorial waters (3 miles), all shellfish to 200 m (except Bering Sea/Aleutian Island (BS/AI) crab and scallops), herring, and all other fisheries not covered under Fishery Management Plans (FMP)

Alaska Department of Fish & Game Division of Commercial Fisheries:

Alaska Board of Fisheries:

Subsistence research conducted by ADF&G:

For cooperative state-federal management

Salmon (Salmon FMP) under Pacific Salmon Treaty (US/Canada) is implemented by the Pacific Salmon Commission:

Halibut under International Pacific Halibut Commission:

For federal management

Most groundfish fisheries in Exclusive Economic Zone, 3–200 nm offshore (Gulf of Alaska Groundfish FMP, BS/AI Groundfish FMP)

North Pacific Fishery Management Council:

National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Region:

Endangered species:


Recreational fisheries:

Alaska Fisheries Science Center:

Federal subsistence management:

Background resources (HTML)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website for its Ecosystem goal (with lots of links to other related agency websites):

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website on Marine Ecosystems:

NOAA web page on the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act:

NOAA website on Arctic Change in Marine Ecosystems:

Bering Sea Climate and Ecosystem (a NOAA fisheries web page):

U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Report:

Pew Ocean Commission Report:

U.S. Ocean Action Plan:

Perry, R.I. and McKinnell, S.M. (Eds.) 2005. Marine Life in the North Pacific Ocean: the known, unknown, and unknowable. PICES special Publication 2, 46 p.

PICES. 2004. Marine Ecosystems of the North Pacific. PICES Special Publication No. 1, 280 p.

State of Alaska's response (and announcement of stakeholder meetings) to the federal Ocean Policy:

Background resources (PDF)

PICES. 2005. PICES advisory report Fisheries & Ecosystem Responses to Recent Regime Shifts. North Pacific Marine Science Organization, Sidney, Canada. 12 p. [PDF; 6.9 MB]

Mailing and physical addresses for submitting papers

Mailing address

Susan Sugai
Center for Global Change
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 757740
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7740

Physical address

Susan Sugai
Center for Global Change
305 IARC (International Arctic Research Center)
West Ridge
University of Alaska Fairbanks