• Spatial resilience and the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in mapping Sitka herring

      Shewmake, James W. II; Greenberg, Josh; Verbyla, Dave; Holen, Davin (2013-05)
      This project assesses the utility of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in conducting research on herring stocks within Sitka Sound. By considering ethnographic data of the marine environment it is possible to identify key spatial attributes associated with the resource. This information was used to construct a social-ecological systems model (SES) for analysis within a spatial resilience framework. From this SES model, resilience surrogates were identified to analyze effort and success within the fishery. These indicators provided valuable insight into how subsistence users relate to the marine environment when they participate in the harvesting of herring spawn. To collect TEK data, the researcher, employed as a graduate intern with the Division of Subsistence, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF & G) worked cooperatively with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA). TEK data was used to identify marine habitat types, subsistence harvest locations (mapping), customary and traditional practices, and changing trends in accessibility to the resource. This information was supplemented with quantitative data including spatial habitat mapping and herring spawn distribution. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to display, analyze, and understand these variables and their measured outcomes to construct the SES model.