Evaluating the Effects of Salmon Fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whales - Workshop 3

This workshop was held in Seattle, Wash., Sept. 18-20, 2012. It was the third in a series of workshops established by NOAA Fisheries and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to help implement our respective recovery plans for Southern Resident killer whales, which are listed as endangered under both the U.S. Endangered Species Act and Canada's Species at Risk Act. We arranged for scientific experts to make presentations pertinent to the topic of effects of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident killer whales. We appointed an independent science panel chaired by Dr. Ray Hilborn to oversee the workshop process 141kb and report on the proceedings.

The primary purpose of this last workshop in the series was to review the scientific findings and conclusions of the draft report of the Independent Science Panel 1.5MB and consider comments received during the public comment period.  The overall goal was to assist the panel in strengthening and improving its final report, which should be issued by Nov. 30, 2012.

Comments were organized into major topical themes that follow the structure of the panel's draft report. Appropriate presenters were identified and asked to address these topics by synthesizing the available information, including any new information that has come to light since the draft report was written. Specific analyses that the panel requested after Workshop 2 were also presented.

The objective of the presentations and ensuing discussions was to identify and consider scientific information that may be missing or inadequately addressed in the draft report, particularly any that might alter or strengthen the panel's findings and conclusions.

All presentations below are in Adobe PDF format.

DAY 1: Sept. 18, 2012

Welcome and Introductory Remarks: Dave Marmorek, ESSA 409kb

Session A: Agency Summaries of Highest Priority Comments

The science divisions of several agencies with management responsibilities for salmon fisheries and marine mammals provided a large number of comments in response to the draft report. For this session, they were invited to briefly highlight for the panel and workshop participants those comments that they consider most important, the ones they feel are most critical for participants to discuss and the panel to consider. To avoid unnecessary duplication, presenters were asked to take into account – not repeat – the thematic discussions scheduled for the later sessions. They were also asked to be clear about which sections of the draft report should be reconsidered and modified in some way to aid the panel's drafting of its final report.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 244kb

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) 232kb

Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) of NOAA Fisheries 137kb

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) 57kb

Session B: Major Themes from Public Comments

This session will include presentations addressing major themes that emerged from the submitted comments, organized roughly by sections of the draft report.

Report Section 3.0: Status and Growth Rates of SRKW

Killer Whale Demography: Antonio Velez-Espino, DFO 318kb

Report Section 4.0: Feeding Habits and Energetic Needs of SRKW

Review of southern resident diet information by season: Mike Ford, NOAA 462kb

Integrating stable isotope, genetic, and scale sample data to improve estimates of killer whale diets: Sandie O'Neill, NOAA 1.3MB

Overlap of Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook Salmon: Mike Ford, NOAA 1.4MB

Role of ocean and terminal run abundance of Chinook salmon on Resident Killer Whale population viability: Antonio Velez-Espino, DFO 451kb

Using chemical fingerprints in salmon and whales to infer prey preferences and foraging habitat of SRKWs: Sandie O'Neill, NOAA 1.3MB

Why Physiology Matters - Assessing SRKW nutritional status using hormone analyses: Sam Wasser, UW 3.4MB

The role of photogrammetry for monitoring the individual growth and body condition in Southern Residents: John Durban, NOAA 2.2MB

Energy Requirements and Salmon Consumption by Southern Resident Killer Whales in their Summer Range: Dawn Noren, NOAA 861kb

DAY 2: Sept. 19, 2012

Report Section 5.0: Fisheries and Prey Availability

Stock-related catch, age, and size distributions from San Juan Islands Chinook Recreational Fishery, Summer 2009: Ken Warheit, WDFW 833kb

Effects of fishing on availability of Chinook salmon to resident killer whales: Robert Kope, NOAA 208kb

Assessment tools for evaluating effects of salmon fishery management on resident killer whales: Robert Kope, NOAA 119kb

Chum salmon as a covariate of Resident Killer Whale population viability: Antonio Velez-Espino, DFO 90kb

Estimating "other" marine mammal effects on salmon with limited data: Eric Ward, NOAA 257kb

Pinniped population trends and their diet and distribution overlap with Southern Resident Killer Whales: Scott Pearson, WDFW 2.6MB

Report Section 6.0: Projected Future Status and Recovery of SRKW

Summary of lambda & Killer Whale growth rates: Eric Ward & Lynne Barre, NOAA 411kb

Session C: Alternative Fishing Scenarios

In its 2011 Biological Opinion on Puget Sound fisheries, NOAA Fisheries obligated itself to analyze alternative fishery scenarios for presentation and discussion at the third workshop. The idea was to evaluate and consider potential fishery adjustments, informed by the on-going workshop process. To this end, NOAA Fisheries will present in this session its analysis of a scenario suggested by the Science Panel following the second workshop. In addition, results of studies led by Antonio Velez-Espino will be presented.

Other approaches to adjusting Chinook abundance: Eric Ward, NOAA 567kb

Resident Killer Whales population viability analysis under selected fishing scenarios: Antonio Velez-Espino, DFO 352kb

Session D:Panel Discussion 52kb

Causation vs. Correlation: What is the strength of the evidence that changes in Chinook abundance cause or do not cause changes in SRKW vital rates? What is the strength of the evidence that changes in fisheries in the future would cause or would not cause changes in Chinook salmon abundance sufficient to affect SRKW vital rates? What other plausible alternatives exist to explain the correlations observed?

DAY 3: Sept. 20, 2012

Session Wrap-up

Next steps: Larry Rutter, NOAA 22kb

Audio Files

Audio sessions are in MP3 format and total 764MB. They'd strain our web server, so we'll provide them on DVD if you'd like the audio files. Please e-mail to request a copy; provide your name and full mailing address.