Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique improves forecasts for Canada's prized salmon fishery

03.03.2015

Method based on field data performs better than traditional management forecast tools

A powerful method for analyzing and predicting nature's dynamic and interconnected systems is now providing new forecasting and management tools for Canada's premier fishery.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scripps graduate student Hao Ye, Scripps Professor George Sugihara, and fisheries coauthors in Canada describe how the technique, called empirical dynamic modeling, or EDM, improved forecasting for Fraser River sockeye salmon, a highly prized fishery in British Columbia.

Developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego by Sugihara, the McQuown Chair Distinguished Professor of Natural Science, the new technique uses archives of field data to drive predictions of future performance.

Salmon populations in this fishery can exhibit dramatic and seemingly unpredictable changes in annual recruitment (also known as the "returns" in counting fish populations). In one example, salmon numbered only 1.4 million in 2009 but then boomed to 28.3 million in 2010. The researchers applied EDM methods in advance of the 2014 recruitment for Late Shuswap, a dominant recruitment location in 2014, and outperformed traditional forecasts with a smaller error margin. The EDM technique predicted returns of between 4.5 million and 9.1 million fish, while the official forecast indicated a much broader range of 6.9 million to 20 million. The actual tally has been listed at (approximately) 8.8 million fish.

"My colleagues and I are optimistic that our new approach will be adopted into the official forecasts, after undergoing careful review by the policymakers," said Ye.

"Fisheries and Oceans Canada welcomes opportunities to examine alternative approaches which might improve the forecast of salmon returns in B.C.," said study coauthor Sue Grant of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Sugihara says EDM advances ecosystem forecasting because it uses real-world field data, along with an intricate backbone of mathematical modeling that can account for the complicated interactions of variables and components in an ecosystem. Traditional scientific equations make assumptions about ecosystem processes, he says, and such assumptions can quickly lead to erroneous results.

"Despite what we are learning about the complexity of marine ecosystems, ecosystem models with specified equations assume we understand how natural ecosystems work, and their failure at real prediction shows that we do not," said Sugihara. "Our paper provides a simple alternative: equation-free mathematical modeling. This approach allows the data to speak for itself, instead of shoe-horning ill-fitting data into preconceived equations. The bottom line is that the EDM approach forecasts accurately in real time."

Sugihara first applied EDM to the more than 65 years of data archived by the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), a program that provides valuable data for long-term fisheries and coastal resources management, and has since applied the technique to topics spanning from climate change to cosmic rays.

In addition to Ye, Grant, and Sugihara, coauthors of the study include Richard Beamish, Laura Richards, and Jon Schnute of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; Sarah Glaser of the University of Denver; and Chih-hao Hsieh of National Taiwan University.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Foundation for the Advancement of Outstanding Scholarship and Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, the NSF NOAA Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) Program, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the Sugihara Family Trust, the Deutsche Bank-Jameson Complexity Studies Fund, and the McQuown Chair in Natural Science.

Media Contact

Mario Aguilera or Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624

 @UCSanDiego

http://www.ucsd.edu 

Mario Aguilera | EurekAlert!

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>