United Nations Decade of Ocean Science-Endorsed Project BECI (Basin-Scale Events to Coastal Impacts): An Ocean Intelligence System for a Changing World Receives $1.1M in Funding from the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund
The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) are pleased to announce $1.1M in funding from the B.C. Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF) for BECI (Basin-Scale Events to Coastal Impacts: An Ocean Intelligence System for a Changing World). The BECI project was endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and Sustainable Development (UNDOS) in 2021 and continues to make progress towards developing a high-level Science and Implementation Plan.
The objective of the BECI project is to develop an international ocean intelligence system for the North Pacific Ocean that will use enhanced high-tech observations, ocean modeling, data infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide timely and targeted information on the impacts of current and future climate events on ocean ecosystems and people. Using salmon as an exemplar species, BECI will ultimately take a modular approach to include all species of interest in the North Pacific Ocean to 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.
The 2022 BECI Workshop Series brought together experts from across the Northern Pacific in a virtual workshop developed to determine our present capacity to assess climate effects on ocean processes, biological effects, and fisheries. Based on these assessments, the hybrid 2023 BECI Science Plan Development Workshop convened 28 interdisciplinary scientists from both sides of the Pacific Ocean to further develop more detailed components of a draft BECI Science and Implementation Plan. At the 2023 NPAFC Annual Meeting, the NPAFC adopted their new five-year science plan (2023 – 2027) which will complement BECI research and collaboration. BECI will build off the success of the International Year of the Salmon initiative’s (2018 – 2022) High Seas Expeditions, which studied the winter ecology of salmon in the North Pacific Ocean.
The announcement of BCSRIF’s $1.1M in funding for the BECI project enables the establishment of a project office and the recruitment of key personnel such as a BECI Science Director to complete the science and implementation plans.
The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) is an intergovernmental science organization that promotes and coordinates marine scientific research in the North Pacific Ocean and provides a mechanism for information and data exchange among scientists in its member countries. PICES has Memoranda of Understanding for collaborations with key fisheries management and science organizations in the North Pacific and beyond.
The NPAFC is an intergovernmental organization that promotes the conservation of salmon (chum, coho, pink, sockeye, Chinook, and cherry salmon) and steelhead trout in the North Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas beyond 200 nautical miles zones, and serves as a venue for cooperation and coordination of scientific research and enforcement activities among the Parties.
“BECI will tap into the vast and diverse expertise in the North Pacific to tackle the historically challenging problem of ecosystem prediction by leveraging modern data science, numerical models and state of the art observations."
Enrique Curchitser, PICES Chair, Professor; Rutgers University