State of the Physical, Biological and Selected Fishery Resources of Pacific Canadian Marine Ecosystems in 2017

Peter C. Chandler, Stephanie A. King and Jennifer Boldt (Editors)

State of the Physical, Biological and Selected Fishery Resources of Pacific Canadian Marine Ecosystems in 2017

State of the Physical, Biological and Selected Fishery Resources of Pacific Canadian Marine Ecosystems in 2017 (PDF, 13.8 MB)

Abstract

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the management and protection of marine resources on the Pacific coast of Canada. Oceanographically this area is a transition zone between coastal upwelling (California Current) and downwelling (Alaskan Coastal Current) regions. There is strong seasonality and considerable freshwater influence, and an added variability from coupling with events and conditions in the tropical and North Pacific Ocean. The region supports ecologically and economically important resident and migratory populations of invertebrates, groundfish, pelagic fishes, marine mammals and seabirds.

Since 1999 an annual State of the Pacific Ocean meeting has been held by DFO scientists in the Pacific Region to present the results of the most recent year’s monitoring in the context of previous observations and expected future conditions. The workshop to review ecosystem conditions in 2017 was held March 7 to 8, 2018 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, B.C. This technical report includes submissions based on presentations given at the meeting.

The warm surface ocean temperatures along the B.C. coast observed over the past few years have returned to levels consistent with the average conditions recorded in the standard climatology period 1981 to 2010. The upwelling of cool, nutrient rich water along the west coast of Vancouver Island started later than usual in 2017, and was not as intense as previous years, but conditions were still favourable for productivity and fish growth. Non-toxic coccolithophorid algal blooms occurred again in 2017 but not to the same extent as in 2016. There was a high occurrence of gelatinous pyrosomes and salps along the entire B.C. coast in 2017. As predicted the warm ocean conditions in 2015 to 2016 were unfavourable for the survival of B.C.’s central to south coast salmon. There was a coast-wide synchronous decline of Sockeye Salmon indicator stock returns in 2017.

A special session focused on the work being undertaken on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Several experts from a variety of government groups in Canada provided overviews of ongoing research in MPAs. An expert from DFO’s Maritimes Region provided an overview of the State of the Atlantic Ocean report and how habitat and MPA information were incorporated into that National Ecosystem Reporting process.

Accessibility notice

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Active offer to produce in both official languages

This report uses scientific and technical terms and is published in the official language of the working group or scientific expert that produced the document. If this document is not accessible to you in the official language of your choice, please contact: Jennifer.Boldt@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

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