Data Needs (or Not): A Framework for the Future of Fisheries and Ecosystem Assessment
Francisco Werner, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Fisheries and ecosystems are in differing stages of assessment. Some may be data-limited, while others may be limited by the robustness of our assessment models. A framework for prioritization of data-needs is presented and the implications illustrated with examples. We also discuss how we might systematize improvements in assessments, i.e., areas and types of new investments, as well as areas where shifts in emphasis can be considered. Finally, it is worth remembering that neither observation or theory—data or model—are perfect. Both are separated from “truth” by errors of different origin. Proper interpretation of both requires an understanding of the underlying model and sampling method, and their errors.
Dr. Francisco (Cisco) Werner is the Director of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Cisco’s research has focused on numerical models of marine ecosystems and the effects of physical forcing on the structure, function and abundance of commercially and ecologically important species. Cisco earned his BSc in Mathematics and his PhD in Oceanography from the University of Washington. Prior to joining NOAA, he was Chairman and Welsh Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Marine Sciences Department‚ and Professor and Director at Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. From 2002 to 2007 he served as Chairman of the GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics) Scientific Steering Committee.
The Bevan Series is a popular annual event held one quarter each year, usually in the format of weekly seminars for 10 weeks, and on occasion as a two-day symposium. The series features internationally recognized experts seeking to examine current issues affecting fisheries and marine conservation, representing as many viewpoints as possible, focusing on solutions to pressing problems. All lectures are free and open to the public.