Integrated multi-stressor observations, modeling, and experiments to inform management in the Northern California Current

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Agency Name
Oregon State University
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Area/s of Research
Climate Change Science
Ecology and Evolution
Marine Conservation, Policy and Education
Natural Marine Resources

The main role of Dr. Christopher Free in this project will be to lead the objective of evaluating the ability of existing management levers to support the multi-stressor readiness of the Dungeness crab fishery. This will involve developing a spatial, age-structured, and climatelinked management strategy evaluation (MSE) model for measuring and comparing the performance of alternative strategies for managing Northern California Current Dungeness crab under multiple potential climate futures. The model will consist of linked sub-models that simulate: (i) changing oceanographic conditions; (ii) population dynamics of crabs and the impacts of changing oceanographic conditions on these dynamics; (iii) effort dynamics of the commercial and tribal fishing fleets; and (iv) fisheries management. The oceanography submodel will use the oceanographic model developed in Research Objective #2 to determine the exposure of the modeled crab population to multiple stressors. The population dynamics submodel will use functional responses parameterized in the lab experiments conducted in Research Objective #3 to determine the impact of exposure on demographic rates. Management strategies and metrics for comparing the performance of these strategies will be co-designed with a working group of state and tribal managers and diverse representatives from the fishing industry (e.g., state/tribal fishers, processors, dealers, etc.). Dr. Christopher Free will lead the development of the MSE model, coordination with the researchers leading the other Research Objectives, coordination of the working group of stakeholders, and writing of the final manuscript. This work will be conducted with support from Dr. Kiva Oken (NOAA) and Dr. Kate Richerson (NOAA).