Dashboard Week: Day V - Crab Distribution in the Bering Sea

by Lukas Jennings

Today is the final day of dashboard week! It's not been an easy week but I feel as though I have learnt so much, especially with regards to strengthening my analytical approach. Being able to answer those questions such as 'why?' or 'so what?' is so important when providing deeper analysis into what the data means.

The data set today was all about the distribution of crabs in the eastern Bering Sea, near Alaska. If you've ever seen 'deadliest catch', you'll know all about this topic.

My dashboard

Final Dashboard for Dashboard Week!

Similar to yesterday, I opted for the long style format and again, decided to start with a high level, overview of the data before drilling down into the specifics.

The first chart is a simple time series showing the number of crab hauls since the 1970s. I added a reference line at 2005 to indicate when the industry shifted away from derby led fishing and towards a more quota driven system.

This leads to the next section of the dashboard which only focuses on 2005 onwards. This is a more exploratory part of the dashboard, with the user able to select a particular crab species using a parameter action. Once the user has explored all crab species here, it should become clear that snow crabs account for by far the greatest part of the crab haul numbers. Another interesting insight here is that crab haul numbers for snow crabs are most significant in cooler water temperatures

Now we come onto the crucial 'why' question. Just why are there so many snow crabs? Why do they account for so much of the haul numbers? These final graphs explain that warming coastal temperatures and melting sea ice are providing optimal conditions for snow crabs to thrive. Cooler waters from sea ice melt are ideal for the younger snow crabs to inhabit, whilst the warmer regions are prime for more mature snow crabs.

Finally, we have an animated map using Tableau's pages feature. What this map lacks in insight it makes up for in coolness (I think). Having said that, a steady migration northwards for snow crabs can be detected here. Perhaps this is due to the cooler waters from sea ice melt!

A link to the dashboard on Tableau Public can be found here...

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Lukas Jennings

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