Story last updated at 7/18/2013 - 1:10 pm
That's an exclamation most Alaskans and many visitors to our state consider music to their ears. NOAA scientists at the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute (TSMRI) in Juneau help keep that tune playing by conducting the science behind the sustainability of Alaska's world-renowned fisheries.
TSMRI is the headquarters of the Auke Bay Laboratories, a division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). AFSC scientists conduct the research Alaska fishers depend upon for sustainable management of Alaska's federally-managed fisheries, which provide thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars annually. Alaska's fisheries are considered to be among the best-managed fisheries in the world. More than half of the seafood Americans eat from U.S. waters is caught in Alaska.
TSMRI is a 66,000 square foot facility, located north of Juneau at Lena Point. It is the largest fisheries research facility among the NOAA laboratory operations that serve Alaska, which are also located in Newport, Oregon; Seattle, and in Alaska: Juneau, Kasitsna Bay, and Kodiak.
For the third summer in a row the public is invited to enjoy free guided tours of TSMRI's aquarium, viewing deck, grounds and laboratories daily, Monday through Friday at 1 p.m., except on Federal holidays. The lab is also hosting an open house July 26, 2:30-7 p.m. to celebrate Ted Stevens Day. The open house includes a range of activities from tours to exhibits. Tours begin with an explanation of NOAA Fisheries' main mission areas. NOAA Fisheries scientists work on research vessels and in laboratories to conduct fish stock assessments of valuable fish stocks in southeastern Alaska waters, the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. They also conduct habitat studies throughout Alaska, including the Arctic, to keep an eye on how constantly changing ocean environments affect marine life.
The tour includes a historic perspective of Alaska fisheries, a look at the special engineering of the building, as well as a visit into one of the active "wet" labs, featuring manmade tide pools. Participants will also get to see the necropsy lab, and the biology, chemistry and genetic labs.
Following the tour there is a 23 minute Science On a Sphere (SOS) demonstration. The SOS is a spherical projection system developed by NOAA in which a high-resolution video is projected on a suspended globe rather than a flat screen. The six foot in diameter sphere provides a 360-degree presentation of services that NOAA provides to U.S. citizens, including current scientific perception on the topic of worldwide climate change.
Graduates of the TSMRI tour will be able to continue to sing that favorite "Fish On" tune secure in the knowledge that TSMRI-based scientists are on the job throughout Alaska protecting fisheries and fish habitats.
The tours run daily, Monday through Friday at 1 p.m., except on Federal holidays. Participants are people 16 years of age or older. Photographs are welcomed and reservations are suggested. For more information on tours, call (907)789-6050. For details on TSMRI, including directions on how to get to the lab, visit http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/abl/TSMRI.htm.