BECI will further develop cross-cutting marine research, modeling, and data synthesis to allow for more effective predictions on marine productivity for key species in the North Pacific Ocean. As we improve our understanding of the oceanography of the North Pacific Ocean, BECI will contribute more effective climate modeling - an important synergy.

The 2022 BECI Workshop Series was developed to assess our present capacity to assess climate effects on ocean processes, biological effects, and fisheries. Over the course of a few months, experts from across the Northern Hemisphere participated in four workshops which encompassed a review of down-scaled modeling and experience linking these models with ocean processes, a review of technologies and innovations applicable to studies of the North Pacific Ocean and its biological characteristics, and a discussion of data management and sharing amongst agencies and between nations. 


climate and ocean ecosystem modeling: predicting the state of oceans and fisheries in the north pacific and Bering sea

The first workshop in the BECI Workshop Series determined the appropriate climate change and fishery ecosystem models to apply to the BECI science plan. These ecosystem models consider time scales for climate projections, which area of the North Pacific to include, key people to involve, and the drivers of future change in the North Pacific marine ecosystems and oceanographic processes.  

workshop 1 key messages

• Global climate models are being used to develop more regional down-scaled models to project future conditions
• Ecological forecasting on a decadal to seasonal timeline is the most needed and most challenging
• The work is being limited by availability of funds/computer time/dedicated human resources
• The work is computationally intensive and there are efficiencies to be gained through collaborations and communication
• Future studies can assist by acquiring data to constrain/validate downscaled models and reduce uncertainties in key parameters


linking ocean processes and ecosystem changes to fish production

The second workshop in the BECI Workshop Series examined approaches to monitoring and understanding biological production of the Northeast Pacific ecosystems, and how these may affect the production of Pacific salmon and other species. This workshop identified key research topics, survey designs, and potential needs for new technologies. 

workshop 2 key messages

• As we are seeing ocean states outside of historical envelopes we should expect the unexpected - predicting fish populations based on historical relationships will become increasingly difficult
• Better real-time (or near real-time) monitoring, reporting and communication are required in systems with low predictability. This is now possible with scalable technology
• More and better fisheries-relevant indicators are required to improve forecasting and risk assessment
• We may need to re-think our models of salmon and their prey. The poorly-sampled micronekton may be competitors, not just prey
• Limited international collaboration impedes progress


technology and tools for monitoring and data synthesis

To monitor an environment of the size and complexity of the North Pacific Ocean and coastal ecosystems, we  incorporated recent innovations and data systems into our third workshop in the BECI Workshop Series. Discussions included a thorough overview of new technologies including but not limited to gliders, drones, buoys, satellites, fish tags, eDNA, and data systems.

workshop 3 key messages

• Autonomous Vehicles are proliferating and now operate over, on or under the surface of the ocean and can deploy a range of sensors including biological sampling (eDNA)
• A clever combination of platforms and sensors can drive affordable research and monitoring required by BECI
• Ship-based monitoring and research will remain an essential part of any ocean research and monitoring program
• New tagging, microchemistry and monitoring techniques can place species in ecosystems spatially and temporally to understand the impact of a changing ecosystem
• Collaboration is essential to leverage investments and optimize application


special session on data

The last workshop in the 2022 BECI Workshop Series was a special session on data management. It confirmed that data sharing and management systems exist to share new information, but there remains a need to ensure common usage and understanding of terminologies and methods 

workshop 4 key messages

• We must build on existing data systems and structures to allow for evolution
• We need a federated approach to reduce impacts on data providers and increase participation
• Use a carefully constructed data language – making use of existing tools like GOOS to collect / contribute essential ocean variables (EOV)
• Invest in the people side - subject matter experts are needed to mobilize existing data sets and work with data engineers at the outset
• Keep the focus on outcomes and not just outputs – ensure that the knowledge generated is useable and being used
• Adopt FAIR and CARE data principles where appropriate

“Talking with experts over the past year has revealed a high level of interest in BECI. Integrating atmospheric and marine data (physical, chemical, and biological) as well as adding innovative technology will help paint a more complete picture of the marine ecosystem of the North Pacific which will support decision making processes more effectively. These workshops form a basis to further develop the BECI science plan over the coming months”

- BECI team