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Bering Sea FOCI was active from 1991 through 1997.  For a detailed summary of BS FOCI, see the Final Report, a PDF (help) document.

An Overview of Bering Sea FOCI

GOAL - The objective of Bering Sea FOCI is to understand the effect of the physical and biological environment on recruitment of walleye pollock. Because of its rich abundance of fish, the Bering Sea has been the focus of much international fisheries research. Although interpretation of fishery data varies sometimes with political need, a case can be made for a counterclockwise movement of pollock with life stage. Eggs are predominantly spawned along the southern and eastern slopes and basins, hatch into larvae along the eastern and northeastern slopes, and develop into juveniles that may be found predominantly on the western slope and shelf. One component of FOCI research attempts to define the basin-wide ocean circulation and characteristics of various pollock populations. The second component considers the contrast in characteristics between the oceanic and shelf domains. Previous research (e.g., PROBES) indicates that the basin and the shelf are biologically separate domains with different likelihoods of pollock survival. In FY1994 Bering Sea FOCI began focus on the eastern Bering Sea, examining the ocean circulation, the food supply, predators, egg and larval transport, biological rates, and other criteria for the basin and shelf environments. FY1997 will be the final year of funding for Bering Sea FOCI.

OPERATIONS AND RESOURCES - The program has a core of principal investigators at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), both in Seattle, Washington, and a number of investigators from academic institutions across the nation. Principal leadership is supplied by Gary Stauffer/AFSC and Jim Overland/PMEL. Scientific guidance is furnished by Jim Schumacher/PMEL, Art Kendall/AFSC, and Jeff Napp/AFSC. Allen Macklin/PMEL serves as program coordinator. Two NOAA research vessels, Miller Freeman and Surveyor, provide working platforms in the Bering Sea during late winter, spring, and fall.

 Work has proceeded in the laboratory and in the field according to research plans developed by the program's principal investigators. Broad areas addressed are pollock populations, distributions of phytoplankton, ichthyoplankton, pollock eggs and larvae, juveniles, oceanography, and fisheries oceanography.

COLLABORATION - Bering Sea FOCI shares its information freely with other research projects of NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program, with Shelikof Strait FOCI, and with the academic community. An important operational goal of Bering Sea FOCI is to provide information to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council to help manage the pollock resource.


FOCI home page
PMEL home page
NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program.