New Skipper Science Program kicks off this summer with on-the-water climate observations

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The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government and SalmonState’s Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP), along with commercial fishing industry partners, are this summer kicking off a groundbreaking program that will collect commercial fishermen’s ecological observations, including changes in fisheries and ocean conditions. One of Skipper Science’s key tools is a smartphone app that allows fishermen to log observations in real time from the fishing grounds — meaning they will become citizen scientists cataloging conditions that may be related to climate change. 

“We know Skipper Science can be a valuable resource for researchers, managers and  policy makers.  We believe that working together with fishermen is powerful and can contribute data and information that can strengthen climate resilience policies and ensure commercial fishing economies remain strong for generations to come,” said Lauren Divine, Director of the Ecosystem Conservation Office for the Tribal Government of St. Paul. 

“Alaska Fishermen have been informally observing and documenting climate-related fisheries impacts for decades. As anyone who spends time on the water can attest, the changes are more dramatic, with greater impact on the environment and livelihoods than ever before. The Skipper Science project recognizes this and is working to connect this lived experience with cutting edge technology,” said Lindsey Bloom, Manager of the Salmon Habitat Information Program. “Our hope is that the program can serve as a vital new source of data to help drive us to better decisions when it comes to fisheries management and habitat protection.”

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Fishermen can sign up to participate here – http://skipperscience.org/

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