Advanced Research developed the database and web portal access and visualization technology to enable the work of the Project CROOS team. For more information on this, visit West Coast GSI.
After the 2006 shutdown of the Oregon/California commercial salmon fishery, fishermen and scientists join forces to develop more adaptive strategies in fishery management based on genetic identification of salmon. Participants recall the genesis of Project CROOS (Collaborative Research on Oregon Ocean Salmon).
Current management of Chinook salmon fisheries depends upon coded wire tags to protect stocks with numbers too low to harvest. This chapter reviews the weak stock dilemma and compares the use of coded wire tags with Project CROOS’ new approach, Genetic Stock Identification (GSI). Traditional relationships between management and fishermen are contrasted with possibilities offered by the Project CROOS collaborative model.
CROOS participants demonstrate the collection and processing of DNA data from Pacific Chinook salmon. The DNA analyst explains microsatellites, the key to genetic identification of a salmon’s river of origin.
Michael Banks, Ph.D., explains challenges faced by scientists from different laboratories as they worked together to develop a common database of microsatellite signatures for 270 Chinook salmon populations from different rivers ranging from California to Alaska. The first challenge required standardization of the complex PCR technique to amplify small samples of fin clip DNA for analysis. The second required agreeing upon the 13 best microsatellites. The third required a blind test to make sure all labs were scoring the selected microsatellites in the same way.
Possibilities for tracking and predicting ocean locations of different salmon stock, in order to direct fishermen to healthy stock, are explored. Topics include coded wire tags, Genetic Stock Identification, a range of ocean variables, with mention of new genetics research on how salmon time and direct their ocean migration.
Project CROOS is developing a new kind of fisheries information system using open source and cooperative principles that has widespread possibilities. This information system is demonstrated on their website, pacificfishtrax.com.