Monday, July 7, 2008

Project Update

As of June, 2008, we have made the following progress on key project tasks:

  1. Completion of preliminary a literature review, annotated bibliography, and historical timeline.
  2. Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) interviews and focus groups with more than 60 consultants in the communities of Angoon, Craig/Klawock, Hoonah, Juneau/Douglas, Kake, Ketchikan/Saxman, Petersburg, and Sitka. We anticipate doing additional interviews.
  3. Compilation of archaeological site data and archaeofish records in Southeast AK
  4. Preliminary synthesis of herring massing, spawning, and harvest data from Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game and industry records (esp. herring reduction plants) into a GIS database and maps
  5. Integration of select cultural and environmental data layers in GIS for spatial analysis (e.g., ecological zones, bathymetry).
  6. Construction of a project web page( to disseminate information to local tribes and the public.

So far data collected reveal the strong cultural and ecological significance of herring in Southeast Alaska. Preliminary results also provide evidence of localized declines in herring stocks and spawning areas, which our sources attribute to a variety of factors, including overfishing, non-human predation, development, and environmental change. In addition we have mapped hundreds of miles of historical herring spawning habitat, much of which has not been previously documented in the scientific record. We look forward to completing interviews and data analysis by early 2009.