Interim Report of the Methods Working Group (MGWG; outcomes from 2017 meeting)
The ICES Methods Working Group (MGWG) met in Woods Hole, USA, on 13–17 November 2017, after a hiatus during 2014–2016. The objectives of this meeting were to lay out potential research topics, select an appropriate number of research topics to pursue, form subgroups, and draft project plans with tentative manuscript titles. The group selected four research topics, under the following working titles:
1 ) State-space vs. traditional stock assessment models;
2 ) Estimating stock-recruitment curves inside vs. outside an assessment model;
3 ) Appropriate level of stock assessment model complexity;
4 ) Evaluating the consequences of alternative age selection in cod fisheries.
Subgroups were formed around these topics, with most participants joining two subgroups. The four projects are organized on the group GitHub site (https://github.com/ices-eg/mgwg), where each project was assigned two or more team coordinators. The road ahead was laid out for each project, and work was started by uploading and presenting stock assessment datasets and initial analysis.
As expected, the projects vary in terms of team size, the nature of the work involved, and the tangible progress so far. Overall, the objectives of the meeting were achieved, and the working group participants are enthusiastic to pursue the research topics that they selected.
This first meeting of the working group (after the hiatus) was of an exploratory manner. The scientists are trusted to identify research topics that are of general relevance and high impact in stock assessment methods research. The projects can be expected to continue to develop, and are to some extent influenced by the background and interest of the participating scientists. All projects have in common that they are on the frontier of current stock assessment research, and all efforts by the group are oriented to fit in the format of multi-authored journal papers.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee