Interpreting relationships between species and their environments is crucial to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM), a priority for NOAA Fisheries. EBM recognizes the diverse interactions within an ecosystem—including human impacts—so NOAA Fisheries can consider resource tradeoffs that help protect and sustain productive ecosystems and the services they provide.
In the coastal ocean of California—seabird predators, forage fish on which they feed, and the survival of salmon out-migrating to sea are each of particular interest, and an improved understanding of their interactions could in turn improve the management of the ocean ecosystem.
For example, in the California Current, understanding the interactions between predator seabirds, forage fish in the coastal ocean and out-migrating salmon from San Francisco Bay could improve the understanding of salmon early survival in the ocean and a measure of the possible strength of the year class return.
Photo: Richard Crossley/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)