Fisheries climatology

Fisheries Climatology focuses on the possible impacts of climate and climate change on the productivity, abundance, distribution, and dynamics of marine fish stocks on the west coast of Canada. Traditional stock assessment models have concentrated primarily on the response of fish stocks to fishing pressure, under the assumption that environmental effects are too random and/or too complicated to include in the model parameters. Recent work suggests that climate effects should not properly be considered the result of random fluctuations over a continuum, but rather they are the result of abrupt shifts between several steady states, or regimes. We hope to be able to incorporate an understanding of climate regimes and regime shifts into the stock assessment process, thereby improving our understanding of stock dynamics, and improving our ability to predict changes in stock abundance.

Climate-Ocean Regime Indices

Below are tabs of various climate-ocean regime indices developed or collected by staff at the Pacific Biological Station. Each index includes a short description, including a brief outline of methodology, as well as a reference to the original manuscript in which each index was published. Detailed methodology for all indices can be found in the original manuscripts.

In order to make use of this data, you are requested to cite the original manuscript, using the reference provided with each index.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jackie King.

ALPI

Aleutian Low Pressure Index (ALPI)

This index measures the relative intensity of the Aleutian Low pressure system of the north Pacific (December through March). It is calculated as the mean area (km²) with sea level pressure <= 100.5 kPa and expressed as an anomaly from the 1950-1997 mean. A positive index value reflects a relatively strong, or intense Aleutian Low.

The index was completely regenerated using a new method in 2015. The new method produces ALPI values that are comparable to previously published values (1900-2008), and there is no difference in the periods with positive or negataive values.

To make use of this index, you are requested to cite the manuscript (below). For more information, please see the manuscript, or contact Dr. Jackie King.

View a downloadable text file containing the annual values for this index.

Correct citation
  • Surry, A.M. and King, J.R. 2015. A New Method for Calculating ALPI: the Aleutian Low Pressure Index. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3135: 31 + v p.

AFI

Atmospheric Forcing Index (AFI)

The Atmospheric Forcing Index utilizes standardized scores of the first component from a principal components analysis on the Aleutian Low Pressure Index (ALPI), Pacific Interdecadal Oscillation Index and the northwesterly atmospheric circulation anomalies for the North Pacific (December through March). Positive values represent intense Aleutian lows, above average frequency of westerly and southwesterly winds, cooling of sea surface temperatures in the central North Pacific, and warming within North American coastal waters.

View a downloadable text file containing the annual values for this index.

Correct citation
  • McFarlane, G.A., J.R. King and R.J. Beamish. 2000. Have there been recent changes in climate? Ask the fish. Prog. Oceangr. 47 (2000) 147-169. (Abstract)

PCI

Pacific Circulation Index (Winter) (PCI)

This index is the cumulative summation of negative northwesterly atmospheric circulation frequency anomalies: Z (westerly), M1, (northwesterly), and M2 (southwesterly) for December through March. An increasing trend in PCI reflects increased westerly and southwesterly atmospheric circulation off the west coast of Canada.

View a downloadable text file containing the annual values for this index.

Correct citation
  • King, J.R., V. V. Ivanov, V. Kurashov, R. J. Beamish and G. A. McFarlane. 1998. General circulation of the atmosphere over the North Pacific and its relationship to the Aleutian Low. North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission Doc. No. 318. 18 p. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Science Branch - Pacific Region, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, Canada, V9R 5K6. Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, 38 Bering Street, St. Petersburg, Russia, 199397. View full document (PDF).

LOD

Length of Day (LOD)

LOD is a measurement of the rotational speed of the solid earth. It is measured as the annual mean difference (10-3 sec) between the astronomically and the atomically derived lengths of day. For a full description, or for applications to fisheries and marine ecology, see reference below.

View a downloadable text file containing the annual values for this index.

Correct citation
  • Beamish, R.J., D. Noakes, G.A. McFarlane, L. Klyashtorin, V.V. Ivanov and V. Kurashov. 1999. The regime concept and natural trends in the production of Pacific salmon. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 56: 516-526. (Abstract)

FRF

Fraser River Flows (FRF)

The mean discharge (m3 s-1) of the Fraser River measured at Hope station. Presented as the mean discharge for an annual year (January through December) and for a flow year (April present year through March next year).

View a downloadable text file containing the annual values for this index.

Correct citation
  • Beamish. R. J., C. M. Neville, B.L. Thomson, P. J. Harrison, and M. St John. 1994. A relationship between Fraser River discharge and interannual production of Pacific Salmon (Onchorynchus spp.) and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) in the Strait of Georgia. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci 51:2943-2855.

YEAR Fraser Annual Fraser Flow Year
1910 -- --
1911 -- --
1912 2401 2360
1913 2805 2884
1914 2909 2884
1915 2263 2249
1916 2504 2450
1917 2702 2881
1918 3047 2879
1919 2627 2689
1920 3261 3275
1921 3203 3163
1922 2613 2614
1923 2583 2583
1924 2704 2716
1925 2715 2773
1926 2244 2157
1927 2604 2658
1928 2635 2542
1929 1938 2012
1930 2338 2323
1931 2356 2372
1932 2796 2795
1933 3272 3401
1934 3118 3112
1935 2726 2578
1936 2698 2671
1937 2407 2438
1938 2038 2027
1939 2823 2905
1940 2564 2518
1941 2459 2458
1942 2236 2219
1943 2318 2290
1944 2206 2237
1945 2139 2109
1946 2453 2453
1947 2666 2697
1948 3218 3196
1949 2568 2574
1950 2719 2737
1951 2374 2349
1952 2520 2518
1953 2426 2474
1954 3075 3092
1955 2811 2746
1956 2600 2709
1957 2924 2961
1958 2929 2848
1959 3226 3267
1960 3080 3075
1961 2815 2815
1962 3084 3181
1963 2875 2758
1964 3485 3513
1965 2863 2806
1966 2934 2985
1967 3150 3281
1968 3317 3159
1969 2745 2751
1970 2162 2141
1971 2821 2855
1972 3388 3350
1973 2480 2494
1974 3163 3118
1975 2647 2712
1976 3673 3715
1977 2588 2507
1978 2422 2410
1979 2302 2266
1980 2396 2613
1981 2749 2579
1982 3187 3237
1983 2553 2565
1984 2723 2632
1985 2527 2582
1986 2613 2642
1987 2355 2259
1988 2430 2436
1989 2390 2461
1990 3001 3049
1991 3022 3059
1992 2574 2411
1993 2151 2201
1994 2575 2544
1995 2443 2497
1996 2893 2871
1997 3654 3659
1998 2274 2222
1999 3458 3465
Publications

Below are some recent publications by the Fisheries Climatology program. For more information or for a copy of any of these publications, please contact Dr. Jackie King.

  • King, J.R., G.A. McFarlane and R.J. Beamish. 2001. Incorporating the dynamics of marine systems into the stock assessment and management of sablefish. In Pacific Climate Variability and Marine Ecosystem Impacts from the Tropics to the Arctic. McKinnell, S.M., Brodeur, R.D., Hanawa, K., Hollowed, A.B., Polovina, J.J. & Zhang, C.-I. [eds.]. Prog. Oceangr. In press.

  • Beamish, R.J, G.A. McFarlane and J.R. King. 2000. Fisheries Climatology: Understanding the Interannual and Decadal Scale Processes that Regulate British Columbia Fish Populations Naturally. pp. 94-139. In Fisheries Oceanography: A Science for the New Millennium. T. Parsons and P. Harrison [eds.]

  • King, J. R., V. V. Ivanov, V. Kurashov, R. J. Beamish and G. A. McFarlane. 1998. General circulation of the atmosphere over the North Pacific and its relationship to the Aleutian Low. North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission Doc. No. 318. 18 p. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Science Branch – Pacific Region, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, Canada, V9R 5K6. Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, 38 Bering Street, St. Petersburg, Russia, 199397. View full document (PDF).

  • King, J. R., G. A. McFarlane and R.J. Beamish. 2000. Decadal scale patterns in the relative year class success of sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria). Fish. Oceangr. 9: 62-70.

  • McFarlane, G.A., J.R. King, and R.J. Beamish. 2000. Have there been recent changes in climate? Ask the fish. Prog. in Oceanography. 47(2-4): 147-169.

  • Surry, A.M. and King, J.R. 2015. A New Method for Calculating ALPI: the Aleutian Low Pressure Index. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3135: 31 + v p.

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