Improving CTC Efficiency in Chinook Forecasting and Stock Assessment through enhanced Data Quality, Consistency, Integrity, and Accessibility

Recent Annex IV negotiations have highlighted issues with Chinook Technical Committee (CTC) workload, capacity, and data management. Current data management challenges put a burden on the time of the biologists, statisticians, and modellers of the CTC and the AWG (Analytic Working Group). This results in an inefficient and error-prone analytical workflow, and as a result, significant but unnecessary time is spent validating the data and model output. Currently, CTC-AWG members share the responsibility for database management and tool development organically, without formal structure. While this approach has enabled completion of the annual analytical objectives, it has impeded documentation and modernization of their data management systems and processes to deliver Chinook forecasts and carry out stock assessments. Introducing centralized data storage with managed access and change management, along with a centralized version control repository for their modelling tools, will increase the CTC’s efficiency and allow for the retention of knowledge. Given the volume and complexity of the Chinook data, and the reality that data volumes will increase every year, the CTC needs a well-documented centralized database and analytical platform. This IT capacity is distinct from biological and modelling expertise and has become an adjunct of modern fisheries science in both national and international organizations (e.g. DFO, NOAA, IPHC). Support from a dedicated database manager is recognized as essential to ensure a successful outcome.