September 2018 Newsletter
BSFRF Completes Summer Trawl Surveys
The Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation completed its summer crab surveys in July ( see chief scientist Scott Goodman with some of the 1-2 year age-class crab collected). These surveys are a cornerstone of our research to build better data for Bering Sea crab harvest science. The surveys are done collaboratively with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. While NMFS’ summer surveys collect multiple species, our surveys are crab-specific and utilize a specialized Nephrops trawl to capture smaller crabs than the NOAA gear can capture. This year our data collection focused on improving the selectivity estimates for bairdi Tanner crab.

The survey vessels, F/V Royal American and F/V Half Moon Bay, left Dutch Harbor on June 15 th and completed 252 total tows over 24 days, making this venture one of the most efficient on record due to streamlined cooperation with NMFS. Ninety-six of the tows were conducted directly alongside NMFS survey vessels. In each tow, all crabs were separated by species and sex and measured. Mature females had their egg conditions recorded. While the survey mainly focused on Tanner crab, snow crab, red king crab, and blue king crab were also collected and recorded ( see the photo of the scientific crew measuring crab on the F/V Half Moon Bay).

Two of the field scientists this year were high achieving local high school students looking to garner real-life experience. The Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation takes pride in supporting young scientists and building research capacity from the ground up.

Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation scientists are currently finishing up processing data collected during the summer surveys. Survey results will be presented at the upcoming Crab Plan Team slated for September 10-13 and at the Crab Science Symposium hosted by Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation on September 14 (see event invitation below). both events will be held in Seattle.

BSFRF Supports Graduate Student to Build Management Strategy Evaluation for the Tanner Crab Fishery 
The Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation is currently supporting the research of Madison Shipley ( shown here with one of her favorite critters), a master’s student at the University of Washington in the Andre Punt lab. She is developing a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) of bairdi Tanner crab working closely with the State of Alaska. Her work focuses on projecting the Tanner crab fishery into the future under different harvest control rules scenarios. When completed, the MSE will become a tool for the State of Alaska to determine potential management implications during the revision process of the Tanner crab Harvest Strategy. The current harvest control rules are being evaluated by the State of Alaska.

At the upcoming Crab Plan Team and Crab Science Symposium, Madison and State of Alaska representatives will be reaching out to stakeholders to hear their views on how to better define the objectives and goals of the Tanner crab fishery and how those views can be best included into management. Please come to either of those events to share your insights and priorities with Madison.

Supporting Madison’s work is another example of the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation’s commitment to build the best data possible for crab harvest management science in the Bering Sea.

You are Invited!
Fall Crab Science Symposium
Fall Crab Science Symposium
Friday, September 14, 9-1PM
Leif Erikson Lodge
2245 NW 57th St., Seattle Washington

The Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation are hosting their Fall Crab Science Symposium. This annual event is always full of new information and engaging discussion about crab harvest in the Bering Sea. this year's theme is "Crab vs. Mother Nature: What We Know/What We Don't." We’ll hear from Dr. Bob Foy, NMFS Kodiak, who will discuss the NMFS summer trawl survey results. Then we will hear about the 2018 water temperatures in the Bering Sea from Dr. Phyllis Stabeno, NMFS Seattle. Our own Scott Goodman, Executive Director of the Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation, will present the results from our summer surveys. Madison Shipley will discuss her work on bairdi harvest strategy and Dr. Chris Siddon, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, will discuss some new approaches to Golden King Crab harvest management. Presentations will be followed by ample time for questions and answers. There will be an hour long Open Discussion at noon so please bring your questions and insights and be ready for an open sharing of ideas.

The agenda for the symposium can be found here.
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If you want more information or have questions about our work, please contact:

Scott Goodman, Executive Director,
Doug Wells, Board President,
Gary Stauffer, Science Advisor,

Bering Sea Fisheries Research Foundation | September 201 8 |