Unlike most global salmon stocks, salmon in Alaska are sustainable across much of their historic range–largely due to a long tradition of community stewardship and a science-based management system. However, access to up-to-date, accurate or integrated information about salmon in Alaska can be difficult, as existing information is often fragmented and/or ignores a significant body of indigenous knowledge. In addition, due to insufficient interdisciplinary methods to process available data, there are still salmon science and management/policy questions that have not been addressed.
Consequently, these knowledge gaps leave many stakeholders inadequately informed about the status of salmon. This undermines their ability to equitably and knowledgeably participate in management decisions such as resource allocation, policy creation, and governance. Through a knowledge synthesis, SASAP seeks to provide an up-to-date interdisciplinary perspective on Alaska’s salmon systems and the people who rely on them to inform systematic salmon reporting programs at the state and national levels.
The SASAP project specifically seeks to:
- Connect knowledge across disciplines and agencies, between cultures and users, and across regions. This synthesis will help gain a broad view of this complex and dynamic system in order to set shared research priorities, develop and monitor indicators of Alaska’s salmon system health and drive sustainable management of the system
- Create new institutional capacity to generate interdisciplinary salmon knowledge and establish a foundation for integrated knowledge that can be built on over time
SASAP aims to address three core questions related to Alaska’s salmon system:
1. What do we know?
SASAP will generate an up-to-date overview of the state of knowledge of Alaska’s salmon and people to provide information that is:
- Targeted towards the most common information needs and high priority questions of salmon stakeholders and decision-makers
- Capable of being readily accessed, updated and shared by future salmon information stewards
2. What do we not know?
SASAP will identify knowledge gaps that will inform future research and education opportunities including:
- Insights into new or emerging topics of scientific and management interest
- Identification of information and education needs for industry, community, academic, government research and economic development organizations
3. How can we better integrate and share what we know?
SASAP will provide an historic base of knowledge that has the capability to inform a wide range of stakeholders about the state of Alaska’s salmon system and is designed to:
- Provide publicly accessible reports and datasets that can be used to address a variety of stakeholder information needs
- Generate publications and other communication resources that can inform educators, local communities, industry, subsistence and sport fishing groups