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Warnemünde, Germany. Gordon Kruse visits Warnemünde, Germany.

Gordon Kruse visits Warnemünde, Germany.

SFOS Journeys

Gordon Kruse

Travel Report, Germany
October 31 – November 9, 2009

During October 31 – November 9, 2009, I traveled to the Warnemünde, Germany. The purpose of this travel was to participate in the ICES/PICES/UNCOVER Symposium on "Rebuilding Depleted Fish Stocks – Biology, Ecology, Social Science and Management Strategies" held during November 3-6, 2009. My role in the symposium was four-fold.

First, I was one of four conveners of this symposium. The other three were from Germany, Norway and Canada. In my role as convener, I had major involvement in overall symposium planning, including overall conference structure, topic session themes, formation of the Scientific Steering Committee, invitation of keynote speakers, and planning of symposium advertisements and proceedings.

Second, I was invited to give a symposium welcome address as a spokesman for the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). In this welcome address, I summarized the status of overfishing in the PICES region (North Pacific Ocean), as well as remedial actions and associated research activities in Asian and North American countries. The review was very well received and I heard multiple compliments, as well as requests for copies of my address.

Gordon Kruse speaks in Warnemünde, Germany.

Gordon Kruse speaks in Warnemünde, Germany.

Third, I gave an oral presentation, titled "Recovery of the Bristol Bay Stock of Red King Crabs under a Rebuilding Plan." Collaborators on this research include two colleagues – one with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the other with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). I led the development of this successful rebuilding plan in my former position as head of ADF&G's marine research program in the mid 1990s. This example of proactive, conservative fishery management in Alaska provided an excellent contrast to the many ongoing cases of overfishing and depletion in the North Atlantic. I have submitted a manuscript on this work to the symposium proceedings, which, if accepted, will be published in a special issue of the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

Finally, I was a panelist in the 4-hour closing session that reviewed findings of the symposium, as well as future recommendations. This panel session afforded me additional opportunity to tout the fishery management systems in Alaska. Many symposium participants admired our programs and spoke about their desire to recast the European fishery management system to be more like the one utilized in the United States, particularly by the NPFMC and ADF&G.

Gordon Kruse speaks in Warnemünde, Germany.

Gordon Kruse visits Warnemünde, Germany.

This trip to Germany affords a number of benefits to UAF and Alaska, in general. First, my participation, owing to my leadership role in PICES, brings international attention to UAF. Second, it helped to further enlighten European colleagues about the merits of the US fishery management system, particularly as implemented in Alaska. That is, it shines more light on Alaskan fishery scientists and managers as world leaders in fishery sustainability. Third, it provided an international venue to publish my work on Bristol Bay red king crabs to further extend the impacts of these efforts. Finally, during my trip, I developed a new collaboration with a German colleague (Dr. Joachim Gröger) on a fishery oceanography study of sablefish in Alaska. In particular, we will be investigating the potential role of climate cycles on sablefish productivity. Dr. Gröger is an expert in time series analysis. I worked with Dr. Gröger on climate cycles and North Sea herring population dynamics during my sabbatical in Hamburg, Germany, during January – June 2008. A manuscript derived from that work was accepted in October 2009 and will appear in the January 2010 issue of the ICES Journal of Marine Science. We developed a novel approach for investigating the role of atmospheric and oceanographic factors on fish stocks, with application to North Sea herring as an example. The additional application of this approach to sablefish in Alaska will help illustrate the utility of the approach to other marine ecosystems.

My travel was funded by the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES).