Winter salmon study planned for Gulf of Alaska -The Cordova Times

Plans are underway for the International Year of the Salmon in 2019, sponsored in part by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

The NPAFC has for 25 years promoted research collaboration among scientists in its five-member countries Canada, Russian, Japan, Korea and the U.S.

The theme is Salmon and people in a changing world and a key focus will be a winter salmon study in the deepest regions of the Gulf of Alaska.

The main inspiration for development of this project is our awareness of the challenges salmon meet in the open ocean related to the climate and in the coastal areas, said Vladimir Radchenko, commission director and one of the worlds leading salmon scientists.

A primary goal of Year of the Salmon is to get more people involved in protecting salmon and coastal societies. The aim of the Gulf project, Radchenko said, is to better understand the ocean phase of the salmon life cycle. Doing so would improve knowledge to help forecast salmon abundance and carrying capacity of the North Pacific.

Researchers have some fragmented understanding of salmon distribution in the deep Gulf area from several surveys starting in the late 1980s. But the surveys were small and the results contradictory, Radchenko said. The project set for next winter will be done with trawl gear and cover a vast area in international waters, 200 miles from shore.

During the winter, all salmon species migrate off shore and we have compared patterns of distribution seen in previous surveys and found t....

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