On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Dr. Jeremy Sterling and colleagues provided an overview of their project to develop a new spatially explicit bioenergetics model to estimate the dietary needs of northern fur seals, and link the model to the existing climate-to-fish model of the Bering Sea (FEAST) and the multi-species stock assessment model (CEATTLE).
During the webinar, the research team provided an overview for the impetus of the project, the methodology, and how they will proceed over the next 2 to 3 years. The research team will further elucidate how northern fur seals interact with prey, fisheries, and climate change by implementing a four-phase research approach that aims to estimate the:
- Energy requirements of northern fur seals in the Bering Sea;
- Prey species and size allocation needed to match the estimated energy requirements of northern fur seals;
- Climate-specific northern fur seal based multi-species harvest rates for eastern Bering Sea pollock;
- Expected future availability of pollock (under changing conditions) and its potential impact on northern fur seals.