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The development and demonstration of an advanced fisheries management information system

Robinson, A.R., B.J. Rothschild, W.G. Leslie, J.J. Bisagni, M.F. Borges, W.S. Brown, D. Cai, P. Fortier, A. Gangopadhyay, P.J. Haley, Jr., H.S. Kim, L. Lanerolle, P.F.J. Lermusiaux, C.J. Lozano, M.G. Miller, G. Strout and M.A. Sundermeyer, 2001. The development and demonstration of an advanced fisheries management information system. Proc. of the 17th Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems for Meteorology, Oceanography and Hydrology, Albuquerque, New Mexico. American Meteorological Society, 186-190.

Fishery management regulates size and species-specific fishing mortality to optimize biological production from the fish populations and economic production from the fishery. Fishery management is similar to management in industries and in natural resources where the goals of management are intended to optimize outputs relative to inputs. However, the management of fish populations is among the most difficult. The difficulties arise because (a) the dynamics of the natural production system are extremely complicated; involving an infinitude of variables and interacting natural systems and (b) the size-and species-specific fishing mortality (i.e. system control) is difficult to measure, calibrate, and deploy. Despite the difficulties, it is believed that significant advances can be made by employing a fishery management system that involves knowing the short-term (daily to weekly) variability in the structures of environmental and fish fields. We need new information systems that bring together existing critical technologies and thereby place fishery management in a total-systems feedback-control context. Such a system would monitor the state of the structure of all stocks simultaneously in near real-time, be adaptive to the evolving fishery and consider the effects of the environment and economics. To do this the system would need to (a) employ new in situ and remote sensors in innovative ways, (b) develop new data streams to support the development of new information, (c) employ modern modeling, information and knowledge-base technology to process the diverse information and (d) generate management advice and fishing strategies that would optimize the production of fish.

The Advanced Fisheries Management Information System (AFMIS), built through a collaboration of Harvard University and the Center for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, is intended to apply state-of-the-art multidisciplinary and computational capabilities to operational fisheries management. The system development concept is aimed toward: 1) utilizing information on the “state” of ocean physics, biology, and chemistry; the assessment of spatially-resolved fish-stock population dynamics and the temporal-spatial deployment of fishing effort to be used in fishing and in the operational management of fish stocks; and, 2) forecasting and understanding physical and biological conditions leading to recruitment variability. Systems components are being developed in the context of using the Harvard Ocean Prediction System to support or otherwise interact with the: 1) synthesis and analysis of very large data sets; 2) building of a multidisciplinary multiscale model (coupled ocean physics/N-P-Z/fish dynamics/management models) appropriate for the northwest Atlantic shelf, particularly Georges Bank and Massachusetts Bay; 3) the application and development of data assimilation techniques; and, 4) with an emphasis on the incorporation of remotely sensed data into the data stream.

AFMIS is designed to model a large region of the northwest Atlantic (NWA) as the deep ocean influences the slope and shelves. Several smaller domains, including the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and Georges Bank (GB) are nested within this larger domain (Figure 1). This provides a capability to zoom into these domains with higher resolution while maintaining the essential physics which are coupled to the larger domain. AFMIS will be maintained by the assimilation of a variety of real time data. Specifically this includes sea surface temperature (SST), color (SSC), and height (SSH) obtained from several space-based remote sensors (AVHRR, SeaWiFS and Topex/Poseidon). The assimilation of the variety of real-time remotely sensed data supported by in situ data will allow nowcasting and forecasting over significant periods of time.

A real-time demonstration of concept (RTDOC) nowcasting and forecasting exercise to demonstrate important aspects of the AFMIS concept by producing real time coupled forecasts of physical fields, biological and chemical fields, and fish abundance fields took place in March-May 2000. The RTDOC was designed to verify the physics, to validate the biology and chemistry but only to demonstrate the concept of forecasting the fish fields, since the fish dynamical models are at a very early stage of development. In addition, it demonstrated the integrated system concept and the implication for future coupling of a management model. This note reports on the RTDOC.

Real-time Forecasting of the Multidisciplinary Coastal Ocean with the Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS)

Robinson, A.R. and the LOOPS Group, 1999. Real-time Forecasting of the Multidisciplinary Coastal Ocean with the Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS). Preprint Volume of the Third Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes, 3-5 November 1999, New Orleans, LA, American Meteorological Society, Boston, MA.

The Littoral Ocean Observing and Predicting System (LOOPS) concept is that of a generic, versatile and portable system, applicable to multidisciplinary, multiscale generic coastal processes. The LOOPS advanced systems concept consists of: a modular, scalable structure for linking, with feedbacks, models, observational networks and data assimilation and adaptive sampling algorithms; and an efficient and robust, integrated and distributed, system software architecture and infrastructure. LOOPS applications include scientific research, coastal zone management and rapid environmental assessment for naval and civilian emergency operations. The LOOPS design is the scientific and technical conceptual basis of an interdisciplinary national littoral laboratory system. The LOOPS partners include: J.G. Bellingham (MBARI), C. Chryssostomidis (MIT), T.D. Dickey (UCSB), E. Levine (NUWC), N. Patrikalakis (MIT), D.L. Porter (JHU/APL), B.J. Rothschild (Umass-Dartmouth), H. Schmidt (MIT), K. Sherman (NMFS), D.V. Holliday (Marconi Aerospace) and D.K. Atwood (Raytheon). LOOPS objectives and accomplishments are summarized in the final section of this note.