Concerns over warming waters in the Bering and Chukchi seas and reduction in the extent and duration of seasonal sea ice have prompted the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) to issue a request for pre-proposals for its Northern Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program.
The NPRB has stated that it’s specifically interested in how environmental conditions and processes in the Northern Bering Sea influence species of commercial, ecological and subsistence importance, and implications for state and federal fisheries management and communities dependent on the resources.
About $6.5 million has been made available by NPRB to pursue answers to these questions in the Northern Bering Sea, in hope that partners may offer additional funding to support research of mutual interest.
The NPRB said there’s evidence of profound shifts in timing, interactions and ecological processes in these waters. Distribution of important groundfish populations has shifted north and populations of Bering Sea snow and king crab and stocks have collapsed.
And while Bristol Bay sockeye salmon have set run and harvest records, there are persistent concerns for Yukon and Kuskokwim River Chinook and chum salmon populations.
The NPRB said more information is needed to better understand why the changes are occurring, how they will impact the ecosystem in the future, and implications for subsistence and commercial activities in this region.
The deadline to apply is May 15, 2024.
NPRB is communicating with other funding agencies/organizations and may seek to fund research in partnership with other entitles. NPRB may share pre-proposals with potential funding partners.
The NPRB hosts the annual Alaska Marine Science Symposium, coming up Jan. 29 through Feb. 2 in Anchorage. Registration can be performed online at www.alaskmarinescience.org.