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PACIFIC COASTAL RESOURCES ATLAS

FOR

BRITISH COLUMBIA

By

Jacqueline Booth and Associates

Brad Mason, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Michael Berry ICNRC / CMN

Mark Zacharias MSRM

Suzanne Richer



Table of Contents

Data Layers
Data Sources
Data Attributes
Metadata
USERS MANUAL for Online data entry
References
Appendix A

 

The Pacific Coastal Resources Atlas (PCRA) for British Columbia, Canada, was developed in response to the expressed need for an easily accessible information source that can be used by anyone with an interest in Coastal Marine Resources Planning.  Government agencies, Regional and Community Governments and NGO’s are able to access the best available coastal resources datasets; all interest groups will be “working from the same page” of information.  The system allows authorized users to add new information (in a timely manner) as it becomes available using “on-line” data entry tools.

To date, both freshwater and coastal resources fishery information has been housed in a huge variety of data warehouses; some of these are digital, some are available in hardcopy form only, and much of our coastal resources knowledge still remains in the form of unwritten Traditional Ecological Knowledge.  Amalgamating these sources around a single access point (using access agreements and links to a variety of data servers) will streamline coastal planning processes.  The benefits to Governments and Communities are significant; requests for existing information from Government agencies will be greatly reduced (with associated cost savings) – community members will have a greater sense of ownership and stewardship of natural resources and will be better informed when resource use conflict decisions are being made.

A number of government and non-government web sites distribute selected coastal resources data and maps specific to a particular species or habitat.  The data presented is often in different formats and, on occasion, may not be consistent.  The Community Mapping Network (CMN) initiative is presently the only system that allows password-authorized entry of new information using web-based mapping tools.  Although there is a lot of information about British Columbia’s coastal resources in the various data warehouses, there is a much larger area of the BC coast for which no information exists!  The cost of doing detailed surveys in this huge coastal area would be phenomenal, (at a recent conference at the Institute of Ocean Sciences one participant estimated it would take 60+ years using the best available technology just to accurately map the BC coastal seafloor and inshore).  The ability to map additional coastal resources using local knowledge (including new agency-sourced information) will greatly assist BC residents in making responsible resource use decisions.

The importance of metadata used in the PCRA approach is stressed throughout the following system description.  The tools described allow for the input of new information that will come from a variety of sources with an associated variety of accuracy, (as is the case with most existing information sources).  The system allows anyone who views the maps and data reports to review the sources of the information and the relative accuracy of the observations.  As time goes on, any information that has not been adequately field-truthed will be subjected to more detailed examination and up-dated appropriately.  In the meantime, “suspected presence” (of any species or habitat) is better than no information at all as coastal resource use planning decisions are being considered.

The Pacific Coastal Resources Atlas is designed to streamline the collection and dissemination of marine habitat and fishery resource information for coastal BC.  The goal of the system is to create an easily accessible source of spatially georeferenced marine habitat and resource information.  Although the individual databases and GIS layers may reside on different computers in a range of agency data warehouses, the PCRA system is designed to make all of the information accessible to information users and providers at one specific location through the internet.

There are many uses for spatially georeferenced marine habitat and fishery information.  Some examples of the business needs for this information include:

The Pacific Coastal Resources Atlas is available through the Community Mapping Network (CMN).  The Community Mapping Network was created to share a wealth of natural resource information and maps with communities in British Columbia, Canada.  Government and community natural resource information is integrated and made accessible through a user friendly, interactive mapping system called Autodesk Mapguide.  A series of servers are utilized to share the workload for serving province-wide topographical base maps, high resolution orthophotography, Canadian Hydrographic Service Charts and selected resource information.  Maps and natural resource information are “web-served” to assist communities and local governments with landuse planning, to promote conservation and protection of sensitive habitats and to raise awareness and respect for ecological values.

Accuracy of the data

Information provided in the PCRA must be both accurate and timely.  Currently, data included in the system has been gathered from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) staff or individuals under contract to DFO who are known to have knowledge of the spatial distribution of one or more marine resource or habitats on the BC coast.  (see below for a description of data layers, data sources and metadata).  The majority of the data came from interviews with regional DFO habitat and fishery officers and local, knowledgeable coastal residents including First Nations.  A second, equally important source of information was the databases maintained by staff at the Pacific Biological Station and Regional offices.  For example, staff at the Pacific Biological Station manage a coastwide database of herring spawn.  It is hoped that in future, trained and certified individuals or organizations may enter information on coastal habitats and fishery resource themselves using online data entry tools developed through the Community Mapping Network.

The PCRA system allows the user to access the accuracy of both the spatial location of a feature (habitat/fishery/species) and the information about that feature by providing meta data in the data records about who collected the information, how it was collected and when it was collected.  Spatial accuracy is also indicated in specific fields in the database.

All data have been fitted to a TRIM coastline with depth contours, where incorporated, utilizing CHS charts.

Data Layers


The PCRA system has been designed to include a wide variety of information on the distribution, abundance and relative importance of marine flora and fauna, fish habitat and fisheries.  A complete list of all the data layers and their file names is included in Appendix A of this report.  The data are grouped into the following categories:

  • Herring Spawn
  • databases of spawn intensity and distribution managed by the DFO herring section at the Pacific Biological Station (see Hay and McCarter 1986, 2001);
  • polygons of areas of spawn identified by local DFO staff;
  • shorelines where spawn has been recorded by local DFO staff;
  • a layer created from the above three sources that indicates all sections of the BC coast where spawn has been recorded and the attributes of the spawn recorded for that location.
  • Locations of Significant Concentrations of Fish/Invertebrates identified by local DFO staff.
  • Anecdotal information on the locations where commercial, aboriginal and sport fisheries take place as indicated by local DFO staff.
  • Salmon Migration Routes Recreational as identified by local DFO staff.
  • Fish Habitat Features including kelp beds, eelgrass beds, special shorelines (salt marshes, tidal flats), and subtidal areas identified as being special.
  • Marine mammal sitings including
  • Point locations of haulouts recorded by local DFO staff.
  • Areas or locations where sea otters have been sighted.
  • Areas of high use by cetaceans (one layer per species or sub-species) identified by local DFO staff or marine mammal experts.
  • Distribution of fisheries by DFO statistical sub-area based on commercial landing data.
  • Databases that are compiled and managed by other programs but can be incorporated into the PCRA system including:
  • Kelp beds mapped from MAFF kelp surveys on the CHS charts.
  • Eelgrass and other vegetation mapped as part of the DFO Herring Sections herring habitat work
  • Clam beds mapped from local fishery officer observation compiled by the South Coast Division of DFO (see Harbo et al. 1997a, b, c)
  • DFO salmon escapement database which gives the location of mouths of salmon bearing streams and the estimated annual escapement of each salmon species in that stream.
  • DFO and Royal BC Museum databases of the locations of mouths of eulachon bearing streams.
  • Point locations of seal and sea lion haulouts recorded during DFO surveys.
  • Cetacean distributions and sighting information compiled by various NGOs and marine mammal researchers.
  • CDC listing of point locations where rare and endangered species have been recorded

In addition previous compilation of fisheries resource information collected by DFO and/or the Provincial Government throughout the 1990s has been incorporated into the PCRA.

Data Sources


The data that has been incorporated into the Atlas has come from a number of sources.  These include data that have already been georeferenced into a GIS during past one time data compilation projects, existing georeferenced databases that are part of an ongoing data collection system, and new data that are coming in from certified data providers.  These data sources are summarized in Table 1 below and discussed in greater detail in the following sections.

Table 1: SHIM data sources.

Database

Source

Fisheries Resource Information – Strait of Georgia [1]

One time data compilation in 1994 under contract to the Provincial Government

Fisheries Resource Information – West Coast Vancouver Island

One time data compilation in 1995 under contract to the Provincial Government

Fisheries Resource Information –Johnstone Strait

Fisheries Resource Information – Central Coast

Fisheries Resource Information – North Coast

One time data compilation in 1997 under contract to the Provincial Government

Fisheries Resource Information – Quatsino Sound

One time data compilation in 2002 under contract to DFO

Fisheries Resource Information – North Island Straits

One time data compilation in 2002 under contract to DFO

Kelp surveys

One time survey of Kelp beds in selected locations of the BC coast by the Provincial Government (MAFF)

Kelp beds from CHS charts

One time digitization of all kelp beds from CHS charts (1995-97)

Intertidal/shallow subtidal vegetation

One time survey of marine vegetation in areas of significant herring spawn.  Produced by DFO staff in Herring Section at Pacific Biological Station and digitized by various agencies

Herring Spawn alongshore locations and importance index

Ongoing database maintained by DFO staff in Herring Section at Pacific Biological Station. 

Herring Spawn extent

“Clam Atlas” – location and level of use of clam beds

Ongoing database maintained by DFO staff in South Coast Division

Catch statistics for log book fisheries by sub-area

Ongoing database maintained by DFO staff in Biological Data and Analysis Division

Seal and Sea lion haulouts

Ongoing database maintained by DFO staff in Marine Mammal Group at Pacific Biological Station

Marine habitat, fish/invertebrate and fishery information

Proposed on-line data entry from certified individuals and organization into SHIM.

 

In the late 1980s the Environmental Emergency Services Branch of the BC Ministry of Environment, began the process of compiling marine biological information for Biological sensitivity mapping for oil spill response.   This process continued through the 1990s (now under the provincial Land Use Co-ordination Office (LUCO) and has ended up the responsibility of Decision Support Services under the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (MSRM) in 2002.  These data compilations are now used for coast marine planning and impact assessment in addition to oil spill contingency planning and response. 

Much of the information for the provincial marine data compilation came from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).  In 1993, the South Coast Division of DFO initiated a system to collect, organize and report information pertinent to oil spill planning from fisheries staff (Booth and Rueggeberg 1994).  DFO recognized that a significant proportion of the existing fisheries and fish habitat information for the BC coast comes from the personal knowledge and experience of district fisheries staff or on unpublished file material in district fisheries offices.  The program was therefore designed to collect and compile this information into a single database where it can be accessed in a timely manner.   Because the funding for this project came from a special fund set up after the Nestucca Oil Spill, the initial data compilation was focused on DFO statistical areas along the west coast of Vancouver Island (Booth and Rueggeberg 1994, Booth et al.  1995, Lightly, 1996, Lightly and Hillaby 1996).  The data sources used in the DFO compilations included:


Using the DFO data collection model, a standard and methodology was used for all interviews and all interviews were conducted by a qualified fisheries biologist.  Each interviewee was provided with a series of Canadian Hydrographic Service charts covering their area of interest and was then asked to identify specific fish [2] habitats [3] , fish distributions [4] or areas of fishing activity.  Where practical, the largest scale charts available were used (usually 1:40,000 scale) used for compilation; however in the case of fisheries that covered a broad geographical extent (e.g.  offshore groundfish trawl and salmon troll fisheries) a smaller scale chart was used.  As each area was delineated, it was assigned an identifier and the interviewee was queried to collect relevant information concerning the area or fishery.  Interviews were conducted with at most one or two interviewees at a time.  When returning to an area for updates, the interviewees were asked to verify or comment on the old datasets.  Interviewees were also asked to search their files and archives for relevant hard copy or digital information that supplemented their verbal knowledge.

After completion of the interviews the maps and data forms were entered into a Geographic Information System and verified.  If there was overlap or discrepancies in the information obtained from different sources the data were scrutinized and in most instances were merged into a single observation with two sources.  The criteria used to make such decisions were (1) to give preference to the information obtained from the individual with the most direct knowledge and experience of the specific fishery, (2) to give preference to the information from the larger scale chart, and (3) to preserve detail.  In instances where one of the data points was part of a coastwide dataset (e.g. the distribution of herring spawn, clam beds or kelp beds) the coastwide dataset was kept intact and the information from other sources was maintained but kept as a separate entity.  These discrepancies were flagged to be sorted out by further field studies.

The data included in the marine fishery resources are a series of polygon, line or point themes with common data structures.  The spatial format of the theme was decided based on the precision of the georeferencing.  For example, seal and sea lion haul outs are represented by a point, coastline with herring spawn recorded as present as a line and areas where the offshore and along shore distribution of herring spawn has been mapped are represented by a polygon theme.  The majority of layers representing fisheries are represented as polygons. 

Each polygon, point or line represents an area where a particular habitat is located or type of fishery operates.  All records include information that allows the user to judge the accuracy of the mapped data (see details in following Section on Metadata).  The layers mapping the location of fishing areas included information on the timing and intensity of use specific to that location.  In most instances, a single fishery consists of a series of locations (several polygons) with specific timing and levels of resource use indicated for each location.  Fisheries targeting the same species but with differences in harvesting methods and/or timing [5] were kept as separate data layers.

The marine fishery resources of the BC Coast that have been included in the DFO compilations of Fisheries and Habitat Resource Information are listed in Appendix A.  For the most part the distribution of fish and invertebrates is inferred by the location of the fishery(s) for that species.  With the exception of herring spawning, clam beds and rivers that support anadromous fish stocks, the only systematic distribution information available is harvesting data.  While we do have some understanding of the habitat preferences of harvested species, it is insufficient to allow estimation of species distributions with any confidence.  The distributions of these fisheries resources have therefore been inferred from the intensity of harvesting.  The weakness of this approach is that harvesting intensity in some areas is a reflection of quotas and management controls.

Data Attributes

A number of attributes are used to describe each data record. These include information on the location, timing and intensity of use as well as details on species, fishing gear used and other relevant information. Not all fields are used for all data layers, only those that are relevant. List all of the data description fields; the next section describes those data fields that describe how the information was collected and its accuracy and precision.

Table 2: Fields used to describe attributes of areas represented by individual data records.

Field Name

Description of the Field

CoastID

Unique coastwide ID (Stat-Area * 100000 + ID)

ID

Original source identification number

POLYGON/ LINE_NO

Unique polygon or line number

SITE_NO

Unique site # (use DFO official site # if available) (Seal or SeaLion layers only)

SURV_NO

DFO survey # if part of official survey (Sea_otter, Seal or SeaLion layers only)

CLAMATLAS

Number assigned in published clam atlas – for layer Clam_Beds only

LOCATION

Descriptive location

CHART_NO

CHS chart number

STAT_AREA

DFO statistical area number

SUB_AREA

DFO statistical sub-area number

HER_SECTION

DFO Herring Section statistical area number (herring spawn layers only)

SPECIES

List of species present; for each layer a specific pick list of available species is provided. Note individual logical (Yes/No) fields are added for each relevant species to aid in queries. See Table 3 for species fields for each fishery or resource.

SPECIES_OTHER

List of additional species present; as for the field SPECIES, for each layer a specific pick list of available species is provided.

RUN

Name of Salmon Run (for layers Salmon_Holding and Salmon_Migration_Route)

FISHERY_TYPE

Type of fishery, used in layer Herring_Fishery to distinguish roe, bait and food fisheries

GEAR

Gear type used in fishery; for each fishery a pick list of applicable gear is provided.

SPAWNING

Presence of spawning herring (Herring_Fishery layer only)

COMMERCIAL

Relative importance to the commercial fishery

SPORT

Relative importance to the aboriginal fishery

ABORIGINAL

Relative importance to the sport fishery

RI

Overall Relative importance of fishery, or species presence or concentration. This is a subjective measure and is relative to the DFO Staff persons area of experience – usually a DFO statistical area.

START

Julian day fishery, spawning, or concentration starts (1 if year round, 0 if no information)

CLOSE or END

Julian day fishery closes or, spawning, or concentration ends (365 if year round, 0 if no information)

TIMING

Description of when fishery takes place or when concentration or spawning occurs

COMMENTS

Any comments specific to record.

The layer used for identifying kelp beds has an additional fields to indicate if the area has been surveyed by the province in the past. This field “SURVEYED” is a logical field and can be entered by the compiler or by the database manager at a later date.

The following table (Table 3 ) lists the individual logical fields used to indicate which species are taken at the location described by a data record. This approach is only used in mixed species fisheries.

Table 3 : Species selections and other fields for individual fisheries or resources.

Layer

Field Name

Description of the Field

Clam_Beds

MANILA

Presence of Manila Clams confirmed

LITTLE_NECK

Presence of Little Neck Clams confirmed

BUTTER

Presence of Butter Clams confirmed

RAZOR

Presence of Razor Clams confirmed

Crab_Fishery

DUNGENESS

Presence of Dungeness crab fishery

RED_ROCK

Presence of Red Rock crab fishery

TANNER

Presence of Tanner crab fishery

Groundfish_Hook_Line

DOGFISH

Presence of Spiny dogfish longline fishery

ROCKFISH

Presence of Rockfish hook & line fishery

LINGCOD

Presence of Lingcod hook & line fishery

SABLEFISH

Presence of Sablefish trap/longline fishery

HAGFISH

Presence of Pacific hagfish fishery

HALIBUT

Presence of Pacific halibut fishery

Eulachon_Holding

SCHOOL

Time when schooling eulachon are present

SPAWN

Time when eulachon spawn in river

LARVAE

Time when eulachon larvae are moving through area

Salmon_Holding

OTHER_SP

Salmon Species other than pink

OTHER_TIM

Timing of concentrations of other species

PINK_EVEN

Timing of Even Year Pink salmon

PINK_ODD

Timing of Odd Year Pink salmon

Urchin_Fishery

UNSPECIFIED

Species harvested was not specified

RED_URCHIN

Red Urchin harvested

GREEN_URCHIN

Green Urchin harvested

PURPLE_URCHIN

Purple Urchin harvested

The layer HSpawn_Pnt is based on a DFO in house dataset which references all observed occurrences of herring spawn since 1928 referenced to points which roughly divide the coast into 1 km segments. These points have been moved so that they are georeferenced to the provincial TRIM coastline. The structure of this database reflects the data recorded by the DFO Herring Section at the Pacific Biological Station and is listed below.

Table 4: Fields in the layer for herring spawn as represented by points (HSpawn_Pnt).

Field Name

Description of the Field

KMLOCATION

Unique DFO code for individual points

ACCURACY, LOCATION, STAT_AREA, SUB_AREA

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

HER_SECTION

DFO Herring Section statistical area

SUB_AREA

DFO statistical area number

KM

DFO km segment number within Herring Section

DOY

Mean weighted date

FREQ

Number of years spawn recorded between 1928 and 2001

INDEX

Spawn Habitat index (function of coverage, intensity and frequency)

RANK

Relative importance of spawn compared to all other rated spawns on the BC coast

SOURCE_1, DATA_DTE, MAP_DTE, COMPILER

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

A separate data layer Hspawn_Shore, was created to amalgamate all of the herring spawn into one layer referenced to shoreline segments. This layer is created by the manager of the Atlas and includes all available information on the location, timing, intensity and frequency of herring spawn. It is intended to be viewed but not updated by users of the atlas. The layer has all of the fields included in the layer Hspawn_Pnt as well as the following two additional fields:

         FOLOC_NO which links the coastal line segment to the layer HSpawn_FO_shore

         KMLOCATION which links the coastal line segment to the layer HSpawn_Pnt

The layer Groundfish_Trawl has a unique field structure as it tries to capture the nature of the trawl fishery which includes seasonal fishing to spread effort over the year and mixed species.

Table 5: Fields in the layer for Groundfish Trawl Fisheries (Groundfish_Trawl).

Field Name

Description of the Field

CoastID, ID, POLYGON, ACCURACY, OBS_METHOD, LOCATION, CHART_NO, STAT_AREA, SUB_AREA

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

LICOD_UL

Use level rating for Lingcod

PACOD_UL

Use level rating for Pacific cod

ROCKF_UL

Use level rating for rockfish

ROCKF_SP

Rockfish species identified in fishery

SOLED_UL

Use level rating for deep water soles

SOLED_SP

Deep water soles species identified in fishery

SOLES_UL

Use level rating for shallow water soles

SOLES_SP

Shallow water soles species identified in fishery

HAKE_UL

Use level rating for Pacific hake

POLLOCK_UL

Use level rating for Walleye pollock

DOGF_UL

Use level rating for Spiny dogfish

SABLE_UL

Use level rating for Sablefish

Q1_UL, Q2_UL, Q3_UL, Q4_UL

Use level rating for polygon by year quarter

Q1_SPECIES, Q2_SPECIES, Q3_SPECIES, Q4_SPECIES

Species assemblage fished at location in by year quarter

COMMENTS, SOURCE_1, SOURCE_2, DATA_DTE, MAP_DTE, COMPILER

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

The layers Salmon_Troll and Salmon_Net are also unique in that they have the capability of identifying the run (natal river) of salmon being targeted. This information can be important as openings for salmon fisheries are typically designed around the movements of returning salmon. The fields unique to these layers include:

Table 6: Fields in the layers for commercial salmon fisheries (Salmon_Net, Salmon_Troll)

Field Name

Description of the Field

CoastID, ID, POLYGON, ACCURACY, OBS_METHOD, LOCATION, CHART_NO, STAT_AREA, SUB_AREA

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

FISHR_TYPE

Local name for fishery

SO_SEINE

Logical fields indicating the presence of Sockeye (SO), Chum (CM), Pink (PI), Coho (CO) and/or Steelhead (ST) in the catch at the location represented by the record for the Seine, Gillnet (GILL) or Troll Fishery.

SO_GILL

SO_TROLL

CM_SEINE

CM_GILL

CM_ TROLL

CH_SEINE

CH_GILL

CH_ TROLL

PI_SEINE

PI_GILL

PI_ TROLL

CO_SEINE

CO_GILL

CO_ TROLL

ST_SEINE

ST_GILL

ST_ TROLL

SEINE_SP

Comments on species targeted by seine, gillnet or troll fleet at the location represented by the record.

GILLNET_SP

TRIOLL_SP

SEINE_RI

Use level rating (RI) for seine fishery , gillnet fishery or for troll fishery

GILLNET_RI

TROLL_RI

RI, START, CLOSE, TIMING

See Table 2

RIV_LOC1, RIV_LOC2, RIV_LOC3, RIV_LOC4

Name of river salmon are returning to (1 to 4 rivers)

PERC1, PERC2, PERC3, PERC4

Percent salmon returning to river (1 to 4 rivers)

SPEC1, SPEC2, SPEC3, SPEC4

Species retuning to river (1 to 4 rivers)

COMMENTS, SOURCE_1, SOURCE_2, DATA_DTE, MAP_DTE, COMPILER

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

 

The seal and sea lion layer databases are designed with a unique structure to capture information on the behaviour and age structure (pups vs. adults) at individual locations. The fields for the point layers describing concentrations of seals or sea lion concentrations include:

Table 7: Fields used to describe Seal and Sea Lion concentrations.

Field Name

Description of the Field

CoastID, ID, SITE_NO, SURV_NO, ACCURACY, OBS_METHOD, FIELD_METHOD, PHOTO, GPS, GPS_DIFFERENTIAL, GPS_MODEL, LOCATION, CHART_NO, STAT_AREA, SUB_AREA

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

NUM_SEALS

Maximum # of seals counted at site

S_STELLER

Maximum # of Steller sea lions recorded from summer surveys

S_PUPS

Maximum # of Steller sea lion pups recorded from summer surveys

W_STELLER

Maximum # Steller sea lions recorded from winter surveys

W_CALIFOR

Maximum # California sea lions recorded from winter surveys

W_SEALION

Maximum # of California and Steller sea lions combined recorded from surveys

ACIVITY

Activity of seals or sea lions around site

RI

Rating for relative importance of site based on the maximum number of seals or sea lions sited at site at any time.

TIMING

Description of when sea lions are present

START

Earliest day sea lions present (Julian Day - 1 if year round, 0 if no information)

END

Latest day sea lions present (Julian day 365 if year round, 0 if no information)

COMMENTS, SOURCE_1, SOURCE_2, DATA_DTE, MAP_DTE, COMPILER

See Table 2 and Table 8 .

 

The RI ratings for seals and sea lions were based on the maximum number of animals observed at a site. The ratings were decided based on the typical numbers seen at sites coastwide.

Seals

Sea Lions

0= no seals observed

0= no sea lions observed

1= Low: Less than 30 Seals

1= Low: Less than 100 Sea lions

2= Moderate: 30 to 100 Seals

2= Moderate: 100 to 400 Sea lions

3= High: Greater than 100 Seals

3= High: Greater than 400 Sea lions

 

The activity of the seals or sea lions around the site is selected from a pick list that includes the following choices:

Activity

Hauled out

Swimming near haulout

Swimming in general area

Travelling

None recorded

 

  

Metadata

Metadata attached to each data record provide information that enables the user to judge the accuracy and precision of that record.  The metadata includes the following fields that are described in more detail below:

Table 8: Fields used to describe the temporal, spatial and biological accuracy and precision of the data.

Field Name

Description of field

Accuracy

Spatial accuracy of the mapped data

Obs_Method

How did source gain their knowledge of this data record?

Field_Method

If data was collected by field survey, what type of survey was it?

Field_Sampling_Method

If samples were taken during field survey, what were they?

Photo

Was a photo taken to corroborate observation?

GPS

Was GPS used to map spatial location of observation?

GPS_Differential

If GPS was used was it differentially corrected

GPS_Model

If GPS was used what was the GPS model name?

Source (_1, _2, _3)

What was the main and corroborating sources of the data?

Data_Dte

On what time frame was this observations based?

Map_Dte

When was the data compiled into the Atlas?

Compiler

Who compiled the information into the Atlas?

Accuracy

The accuracy with which the data has been mapped is recorded as a subjected estimate in this field.  If the data are added from an existing database, or if the data are digitized from hard copy CHS charts or other maps, then the following pick list is provided for selecting the data accuracy:

Code

Map Accuracy

1

Location measured using GPS (see GPS model and accuracy fields)

2

Location generalized from DFO log book lat/long positions

3

Location indicated to 2 mm on chart at chart scale

4

Alongshore location indicated to 2 mm on chart at chart scale; across shore accuracy unknown

5

General location only; rough sketch on chart or place name (5 mm on chart at chart scale)

6

Tied to shore unit or other shoreline segment

7

Tied to DFO Statistical Sub-area

8

Tied to DFO Statistical Area

9

Alongshore location indicated to 5 mm at chart scale, across shore accuracy unknown

10

Vague location only (1-2 cm on chart at chart scale)

The chart scale is linked to the CHS chart number that is recorded in a separate field.  A list of all CHS charts and the associated scale are included in the Atlas database.

If, however, the data are entered on line via screen digitizing at the SHIM web site (and are therefore not linked to the accuracy of a chart or GPS, the following choices are provided for recording the spatial accuracy of a mapped location:

Obs_Method

The method used to georeference and describe the area is also chosen from a pick list with the following choices:

Code

Method used to collect data

1

field work, measured directly

2

personal observations

3

second hand knowledge

4

published or compiled information

5

traditional knowledge

“Personal observations” are differentiated from “field work, measured directly” in that the first is an incidental observation while the latter is a dedicated field survey such as a habitat assessment or herring spawn dive survey.  “Traditional knowledge” implies that it is a collective knowledge of a group of person such as a First Nations group.  Both “second hand knowledge” and “published and compiled information” are one step removed from the original observer; the difference lies in that the former is verbal while the latter is based on a report, map or database.  If the observation method is based on “published or compiled information” the details of source of that information should be contained in the “Source” field of the data record.

Field_Method

If the field “Obs_Method” is indicated as “Field_Work” (code 1) [6] then the nature of the field work should be indicated. 

Code

Field technique used to collect data

0

N/A

1

Shore based surveys

2

Aerial Surveys

3

Boat Surveys

4

Dive Surveys

5

Air photo interpretation

6

Aerial Video Interpretation

Field_Sampling_Method

If the field “Obs_Method” is indicated as “Field_Work” (code 1) then if field samples were collected the nature of these samples should be indicated.  If no samples were taken or if the observation is not based on a field survey then the field should be left at its default value of “N/A” (code 0). 

Code

Field Sampling Method

0

N/A

1

photos

2

video

3

transects

4

quadrats

5

seine net

6

dip net

7

trap

8

bottom grab

 

Photo

This is a logical field (Yes/No) that indicates if a photo has been taken of the habitat, fish or fishery being mapped at the location of a data record.  This is provided as an additional method of data verification.  Provision is made on the on line data entry site of the Atlas for submitting a digital photo over the Internet.  This photo can then be displayed when the data record is queried.

GPS

This is a logical field (Yes/No) that indicates whether or not a GPS was used to georeference the spatial extents of the data record.  It is intended that in the near future, provision will be made on the Atlas on line data entry site for submitting the spatial extents of a data record as a GPS file.  At present this information gives some indication of the spatial accuracy of a data record and the spatial extents and attributes of records can be submitted digitally in standard GIS format.

GPS_Differential

This is a logical field (Yes/No) that indicates whether or not the GPS used had differential correction either in the field or back in the office.

GPS_Model

If a GPS was used in georeferencing the spatial extents of the data record, then the make and model number, plus any user modifications, should be indicated in this field.

Source

A main source (Source_1) and up to two corroborating sources (Source_2, Source_3) can be entered for every data record.  A source can be a person, published or unpublished report or map, or a database.  The details of each source must be added prior to use in a separate data file “Sources”.  This file has the following data fields:

Field Name

Field Type

Field Length

Description:

Source

Text

25

Source Reference

Full Citation

Text

250

Full citation for report or publication or map

Name

Text

50

Name of person interviewed or custodian of data

Position

Text

100

Official Title of person

Organization

Text

100

Title of department, ministry or other organization

Sector

Number

 

Numeric code for sector person belongs to (see below)

Experience

Memo

 

Relevant Experience and Responsibilities

Year_Start

Number

 

Year started or # of years at current or related job in area

 

The pick list for the sector to which the source belongs is given below.

Sector

Description of Sector

11

Government - research

12

Government - management/enforcement

21

Traditional Knowledge - First Nations

51

ENGO

31

Non-government Expert - science research

41

Industry - commercial fisheries

42

Industry - recreational fisheries

43

Industry - aquaculture

44

Industry - ecotourism

61

Individual - recreational fisher

32

Non-government Expert - tourism research

22

Traditional Knowledge - Communit

Data_Dte

Date of when the observations or field studies were made.  May be a range of years if it is based on a time series of data or a period over which observations were made.

Map_Dte

Date when data were first gathered by Compiler from the data source.  If the data were already in the atlas but have been updated or verified since the initial compilation, then this date should be recorded. 

Compiler

Name of person responsible for compiling the information and submitting it to the Atlas.  In order to submit information to the Atlas, a person must be certified by DFO.  The certification process is under development but will include a training program and requires a certain degree of expertise or knowledge in marine resources, GIS and data management.  Once certified an individual’s name is added to the list they are provided with a user id and password for on line data entry over the CMN/PCRA web site.  A data table with metadata on each compiler is required before a compiler can enter data.  The fields in this database include the following details that indicate to the user who the compiler is and how to contact them.

References

Booth, J. and H. Rueggeberg. 1994. Consolidation of Fisheries Resource Information West Coast of Vancouver Island. Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet. Can. Tech. Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. No. 2002. 48 p + Appendices.

Booth, J., H. Rueggeberg and M. Wright. 1995. Consolidation of fisheries resource information West coast of Vancouver Island Offshore. Can. Tech. Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. No. 2102. 78 p + Appendices.

Harbo, R.M. 1997. Intertidal Clam Resources (Manila, littleneck, butter clam) Volume III: The Northern Inside Waters of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia Mainland. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2418: vii + 79 p.

Harbo, R.M., K. Marcus and T. Boxwell. 1997a. Intertidal Clam Resources (Manila, littleneck, butter clam) Volume I: The West Coast of Vancouver Island. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2416: viii + 116 p.

Harbo, R.M., K. Marcus and T. Boxwell. 1997b. Intertidal Clam Resources (Manila, littleneck, butter clam) Volume II: The Southern Inside Waters of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia Mainland. Can. MS Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2417.

Hay, D.E. and P.B. McCarter. 2001. Herring Spawn Areas of British Columbia: A review, geographic analysis and classification. Web page address:                         http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sci/herspawn/herspawn/default.htm

Hay, D.E., P.B. McCarter, R. Kronland and C. Roy. 1989. Spawning Areas of British Columbia herring: A review, geographic analysis and classification. Volumes 1-6. Canadian MS Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2019.

Lightly, M. 1996. Consolidation of Fisheries Resource Information West Coast of Vancouver Island. Clayquot Sound and Long Beach. Can. Tech. Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. No. 2121. 63 p + Appendices.

Lightly, M. and J. Hillaby. 1996. Consolidation of Fisheries Resource Information West Coast of Vancouver Island. Southwest Vancouver Island (Race Rocks to Cape Beale). Can. Tech. Rpt. Fish. Aquat. Sci. No. 2122. 48 p + Appendices.

 

Appendix A

Data layers included in the compilation of information of Fisheries Resource Information,

Herring Spawn Distribution

Layer File Name

Description

hspawn_poly

Polygons of spawn mapped from maps created by Fishery officers or from dive surveys for the years 1942-97. This data was collected and digitized by Doug Hay’s group at PBS.  Not all spawn records were mapped.  Accuracy varies depending on mapping method.  This data is meant to be displayed with the legend provided but not queried.  The more years a spawn has been mapped for an area the deeper red-brown colour applied by the legend.  There is one field per year and a positive number for a field means that spawn was mapped for that polygon in that year.  The final field is the total number of years that spawn was recorded for that field and is what is linked to the legend.

Hspawn_FO_poly

Polygons of spawn mapped by local DFO staff but maintained separately fro the data collated by Doug Hay’s group at PBS.  This represents the local DFO staff’s opinion of the area covered by a typical spawn.

hspawn_pnt

DFO maintains a database of Spawn timing, frequency and intensity.  The data collection is ongoing and the current file is based on information from the years 1928 to 2001.  The DFO table provided lat/long positions that represent the start point of a km segment of shoreline.  However these positions are inaccurate and were therefore moved to match the TRIM shoreline with approx. 1 km spacing. 

hspawn_fo_shore

 

Local DFO staff indicated the shorelines along which they had observed spawn.  Some of these locations were not recorded in the above two data sets.  A field gives the rough timing of the spawn in that location and comments indicate if it was a one-time event or if it was unconfirmed.

hspawn_shore

This file brings together all of the above herring data into attributes of the TRIM shoreline.  The point file “hspawn_pnt” was used to cut the TRIM shoreline into segments with the attributes of the start point.  Additional segments were added if spawn was indicated from any of the other sources and the attributes such as timing or comments were added from those sources.  This layer is coloured a darker red-brown the greater the spawn index.  The legend is based on a coast wide gradient where shorelines with an index in the top 3rd coastwide are coloured the darkest.  Areas with no index assigned are give a rating similar to those with a low index.

 

 

Locations of Significant Concentrations of Fish/Invertebrates  
based on information provided by local DFO staff

Layer File Name

Description

Eulachon_Holding

Areas where eulachon juvenile/adults hold

Juvenile_Fish

Areas where concentrations of juvenile fish (herring or salmon) have been recorded. 

Significant_Invertebrate_Concentrations

Significant concentrations of specific invertebrate species including (but not limited to):

  • areas where squid concentrate for spawning

  • areas where jellyfish concentrations have been observed

  • beaches that have large seed populations of clams but which are not harvested

Salmon_Holding

Areas where salmon hold before migrating up river

Salmon_Migration_Route

Salmon migration routes as line segments

Herring_Holding

Areas where herring concentrate prior to spawning.

 

 

Locations of Fisheries - based on information provided by local DFO staff
Unless otherwise stated areas are for rated for commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries

Layer File Name

Description

Clam_Beds

Locations of clam beds (and use level where recorded)

Crab_Fishery

Areas where crabs are harvested (Dungeness, Red Rock, Tanner)

Seacucumber_Fishery

Areas where sea cucumbers are harvested

Geoduck_Fishery

Areas where geoducks and horse clams are harvested

Octopus_Fishery

Areas where octopus are harvested

Prawn_Trap_Fishery

Areas where prawn trap fishery takes place

Shrimp_Trawl_Fishery

Areas where shrimp trawl fishery takes place

Urchin_Fishery

Areas where urchins are harvested

Misc_Fishery

Areas where misc.  species (abalone, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, chiton, welks…) are harvested.

Herring_ROK_Fishery

Locations of herring Roe-on-kelp impoundments

Herring_Fishery

Areas where Herring food, bait or spawn fishery takes place

Salmon_Troll

Areas where commercial salmon troll fishery takes place

Salmon_Net

Areas where commercial salmon gillnet/seine fisheries take place

Groundfish_Hook_Line

Areas where commercial groundfish hook & line fishing takes place

Groundfish_Trawl

Areas where commercial groundfish trawl fishing takes place

Tuna_Fishery

Areas where commercial tuna troll fishery takes place

 

Sport Fishing (finfish) and Diving
based on information provided by local DFO staff

Layer File Name

Description

Sport_grndfish

Hot spots for Sport groundfish fishing

Sport_salmon

Hot spots for Sport salmon fishing

RecDive

Recreational dive sites

Habitat features
based on information provided by local DFO staff

Layer File Name

Description

Kelp

Kelp beds in addition to those mapped from MAF surveys or taken from CHS charts identified by DFO staff.

Eelgrass

Eelgrass beds identified by DFO staff.

Special_Shorelines

Shoreline segments identified as being special (salt marshes, tidal flats)

Special_Subtidal_Habitat

Subtidal areas identified as being special:

  • Areas with substantial record of prior marine research & data gathering

  • Hydrothermal vent and environ

  • Localized upwelling area

  • Reef and environs

  • Seamount and environ

 

Marine Mammals
based on information provided by local DFO staff

Layer File Name

Description

Seals

Points representing the locations of haulouts and rafting areas recorded during seal surveys.

Sealions

Points representing the locations of haulouts and rafting areas recorded during sea lion surveys.

SeaOtters

Areas of distribution, relative abundance

Humpback

Areas of concentration and/or high use as identified by local DFO staff or marine mammal experts.

Orcas_resident

Orcas_transient

Orcas_offshore

Humpbacks

Minke

PWSD

HarbourP

 

Fishery Distributions Based on Catch Data
based on DFO catch statistics linked to DFO sub-areas and limited to appropriate depths

Layer File Name

Description

Crab_catch

This data is displayed as polygons based on DFO statistical sub-areas classified on the basis of the total landings in that sub-area from 1994-98.  The catch data are displayed and normalized by the area of the sub-area that is within the depth range for that fishery and expressed as lbs/hectare.  Dive fishery catch data (sea cucumbers, geoducks, red urchins, green urchins, and octopus) are limited to portions of the sub-area with depths <20m; Crab trap fishery catch data are limited to portions of the sub-area with depths <50m and rockfish and prawn fishery data are limited to portions of the sub-area with depths <100 m.  The landings for the shrimp trawl fishery are applied to all depths.

Cukes_catch

Geoduck_catch

Grurchin_catch

Redurchin_catch

Octopus_catch

Prawn_catch

Shrimp_catch

Rockfish_catch


Other independent datasets managed and compiled by other programs.

Feature

Description

Kelp

Kelp beds mapped from CHS charts

Kelp beds mapped from MAFF kelp surveys

Eelgrass

Eelgrass beds mapped by LUCO (now DSS) linked to shoreline units as part of bio-banding

Clam Beds

Clam beds (Manila, littleneck, butter clams) mapped from fishery officer information in the DFO Clam Atlas

Locations of fisheries and fish resources

A collection of spatial, and temporal and use level (where appropriate) for most of the above fisheries and features collected for the BC coast between 1992 and 97 by a collaborative effort of DFO and the Provincial government (MOE, MELP and then LUCO).

Seal, Sealion and Sea otters

DFO periodically undertakes surveys of these marine mammals and the data can be incorporated into the coastal information database

Cetacean distributions

Areas of concentration and travel corridors are collected by a number of NGOs.  The Marine Mammal Group in Victoria, The Vancouver Aquarium have both been collecting records of individual sitings.  ICNRC and the Orca lab have put in a proposal to collect all this information from NGOs and local operators for the NIS region.  Unfortunately this proposal has not been funded.  In the 1995 data collection for this region, areas of known cetacean use were combined with models of what is known of the individual species habitat preferences.

   


[1] This dataset has not been incorporated at this time but it is hoped that it will be in the near future.

[2] “Fish” and “Fish Habitats” refer here to both fish and invertebrate species.

[3] Fish habitats include eelgrass and kelp beds.

[4] Fish distributions that were mapped include herring spawning areas, mouths of rivers where anadromous fish spawn and known spawning grounds of other demersal or pelagic fishes.

[5] For example the herring spawn and bait fisheries and the salmon gillnet, seine and troll fisheries.

[6] This field can also be used if the “Obs_Method” is “published or compiled information” (code 4) and it is known that field work was used to originally collect the data.