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C. Application of Index Methods: Catch and Fishery Independent Abundance Surveys OVERVIEW



Despite an unmatched time series of synoptic research vessel-based surveys, the ability to apply age-based assessment models to marine finfish stocks in the Northeast USA is limited by the number of years for which age samples are available. Typically this means that such assessments are restricted to time periods beginning in the late 1970's or early 1980's. In many instances, severe overfishing of the resource has already occurred, and the information content of the available series may be problematic for the establishment of biomass reference points. In these situations, it is desirable to apply methods that can incorporate historical catch information, thereby avoiding a myopic perspective on resource conditions. In this report, a number of index-based approaches are developed to more fully utilize the data sets from the surveys and historical landings. The methods are technically simple but are based on linear population models, modern graphical methods, and robust statistical models. The concept of a replacement ratio is introduced here as an analytical tool for examining the historical behavior of a population and any potential influence of removals due to fishing activities. To test these concepts and to facilitate comparisons, the analyses were applied to both the aged and un-aged stocks. Index-based methods for reference point estimation were considered in light of the specific goal of identifying the limit relative fishing mortality rate (relF) that is associated with stoc

Year: 2011
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