Marine Ecology of Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon

Present-day Atlantic salmon losses at sea are higher than documented prior to 1990 but scientists and managers are often overwhelmed at the scale of the issue and multiple unknowns. This is confounded by the small biomass of salmon in a large ecosystem – a needle in a haystack. Maine Sea Grant provided convening and facilitation services to a project sponsored by NOAA Fisheries to bring together marine scientists of multiple disciplines to discuss and develop 1) testable hypotheses to advance our understanding of current low marine survival of Atlantic salmon and 2) management prescriptions to increase marine survival. A series of workshops between 2008-2010, summarized in the final report, captured the most pressing needs for estuarine-marine Atlantic salmon research and management opportunities.

An equally important outcome of this project was to develop new working partnerships between fisheries scientists and managers and other disciplines (ecosystem ecologists, biological oceanographers, physical oceanographers, climatologists, ocean modelers, biological-physical interactions, etc.) to address complex marine issues. The workshops and synthesis document informed two NOAA research projects and two post-doctoral projects: 1) Retrospective analysis of Atlantic salmon marine growth parameters in the Northwest Atlantic based on tag-recovery data analysis of historic tagging data ; 2) Revisiting the marine migration of US Atlantic salmon with historic Carlin tag data (A. Miller/NOAA); 3) Evaluation of the importance of predator and prey fields and ocean circulation on Atlantic salmon growth and survival in the Gulf of Maine (UMaine and Gulf of Maine Research Institute) and 4) Impact of oceanographic changes on Atlantic salmon survival in the Northwest Atlantic (CINAR).

Final Project Report


Background Documents & Reference

Project summary 21KB
Scoping and steering committees 13KB
Background paper for the first workshop 31KB
Cairns 2001 4.14MB
Desired Outcomes 17KB

Bibliography of Selected References

Workshop One - July 2008

22-23 July Agenda 9KB
ATS Hypotheses Spreadsheet 84KB
Elskus Presentation 101KB
McCormick Presentation 981KB
Mierzykowski Presentation 41KB
Sahl Presentation 271 KB
Wilson Presentation 6.69MB

Workshop Two - January 2009

27-28 January Agenda 12KB
Abstracts 39KB
Workshop Overview Presentation 2MB
Friedland Presentation 6.46MB
Incze Presentation 481KB
Mountain Presentation 279KB
Fisher Presentation 3MB

Workshop Three - January 2010

Agenda with Abstracts 51KB