Mapping human interaction with the Bering Sea ecosystem

Mapping human interaction with the Bering Sea ecosystem: Comparing seasonal use areas, lifetime use areas, and “calorie-sheds”

Huntington, H. P., Ortiz, I., Noongwook, G., Fidel, M., Childers, D., Morse, M., Beaty, J., Alessa, L., Kliskey, A. (2013) Mapping human interaction with the Bering Sea ecosystem: Comparing seasonal use areas, lifetime use areas, and “calorie-sheds”. Deep-Sea Research II. 94:292-300. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.03.015

ABSTRACT: Alaska Native coastal communities interact with the marine environment in many ways, especially through the harvest of fish, marine mammals, and seabirds. The spatial characteristics of this interaction are often depicted in terms of subsistence use areas: the places where harvests and associated travel occur. Another way to consider the interaction is to examine the areas where harvested species range during their lifecycle or annual migratory path. In this paper, we compare seasonal subsistence use areas, lifetime subsistence use areas, and “calorie-sheds,” or the area over which harvested species range. Each perspective offers useful information concerning not only the nature of human–environment interactions but also the scope for potential conflict with other human activity and the means by which such conflicts could be reduced, avoided, or otherwise addressed. Seasonal subsistence use areas can be used to manage short-term activities, such as seasonal vessel traffic during community re-supply. Lifetime subsistence use areas indicate the area required to allow hunters and fishers the flexibility to adjust to interannual variability and perhaps to adapt to a changing environment. Calorie-sheds indicate the areas about which a community may be concerned due to potential impacts on the species they harvest.

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