Alaska has some of the world’s largest intact wild salmon systems. They play a vital role in the state’s diverse economies and cultures, and their persistence reflects a long tradition of stewardship.
However, global forces such as climate change and ocean acidification, as well as local development pressures increasingly threaten salmon and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them.
Equitable decision-making about how to improve and sustain salmon systems requires accurate, up-to-date information about salmon and the factors shaping their future – yet such information is not widely accessible nor fully complete.
State of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP) is a partnership that aims to address this challenge. Co-led by NCEAS and Anchorage-based Nautilus Impact Investing, SASAP’s mission is to create an equitable decision-making platform for all salmon stakeholders through information synthesis, collaboration, and stakeholder engagement.
To this end, SASAP has convened collaborative working groups consisting of leading experts at the University of Alaska and other universities, local indigenous leaders, and specialists across resource sectors – an intentional integration of western scientific perspectives and indigenous knowledge.
In two rounds of research, eight working groups are tackling important questions that will result in a comprehensive understanding of Alaska’s salmon and people today, as well as what they’ll need to thrive into the future.
SASAP Round 1 Working Groups
These groups are working toward an up-to-date understanding of the state of Alaska’s salmon and the communities who rely on them.
- Group 1: Salmon Distribution and Habitat
- Group 2: Sociocultural and Economic Dimensions of Salmon Systems
- Group 3: Current Governance and Management of Salmon
SASAP Round 2 Working Groups
These groups are focusing on threats to salmon and salmon-dependent human communities and options for mitigating those threats.
- Group 1: Consistency, Causes and Consequences of Salmon Size Declines
- Group 2: Well-being and Salmon Systems
- Group 3: Ocean Climate Interactions with At-sea Salmon Competition
- Group 4: Community-Based Engagement with Salmon Science
- Group 5: Integrated Watershed Management for Salmon in Kenai Lowlands
In May 2018, SASAP researchers presented their work at the Western Division American Fisheries Society annual meeting. The following video includes three of the 20 total presentations they gave and provides an overview of the project.
The State of Alaska's Salmon and People is generously funded by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Header Photo Credit: Jason Ching