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Fishers and Scientists Collaborate on Emerging Ocean Forecast Products

  • 3 April 2013
Fishers and Scientists Collaborate on Emerging Ocean Forecast Products

Fishers and Scientists Collaborate on Emerging Ocean Forecast Products

Scientists at Oregon State University (OSU) are combining the experiential knowledge of Oregon fishers with data from remote sensing satellites and ocean forecast models to create and evaluate new products based on forecasts of subsurface velocities. These velocities have been identified by the fishers as the top priority for new information needed to improve the safety and efficiency of fishing operations such as gear deployment and recovery.  

Background: The Cooperative Institute for Oceanographic Satellite Studies (CIOSS) has supported the development of three-day forecasts of coastal ocean surface and subsurface currents, temperatures and salinities off Oregon and Northern California. The coastal ocean forecast model is optimally constrained by sea surface temperature (SST) fields (from NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites), satellite-altimeter sea surface heights and surface-currents from high-frequency coastal RADARs. Data-products have been created from SST forecast fields for the tuna fishing community since 2008. These are disseminated by the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), a regional association of NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), through the NANOOS Visualization System (NVS). The NVS integrates information from diverse providers to deliver a comprehensive view of the Pacific Northwest marine environment. Building on this background, CIOSS and the OSU Marine Resource Management (MRM) program are now bringing together scientists and a wider variety of fishers to create new NVS products, using the previously untapped information in forecasts of subsurface currents.

Significance: Incorporating the practical experience of the fishers in designing better decision-making ocean forecast tools will increase the economic, social, and environmental resilience of coastal communities. Use of the fishers’ knowledge also provides a more direct roadmap for the evolution of NOAA’s environmental modeling activities, helping to protect life, property, and marine resources. This work supports NOAA’s Mission Goals: Weather-Ready Nation, Science and Technology, and Improved Capacity to Make Scientifically Informed Environmental Decisions.

Contact InformationFlaxen Conway, OSU MRM Program Director.

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