International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
Working%20Group%20on%20Multispecies%20Assessment%20Methods%20(WGSAM)%202021.pdf (3.29 MB)

Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM)

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posted on 2021-12-23, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

The Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM) aims to advance the operational use of knowledge on predator-prey interactions for advice on fisheries and ecosystem management.

This report summarises the achievements of a 3-year cycle during which the group consolidated criteria to evaluate key-runs and more in general the skills assessment of multispecies models, released  key-runs  for  the  Baltic  Sea,  North  Sea  and  Irish  Sea  all  evaluated  with  those  criteria,  progressed in the areas of multiple models comparison, ensemble modelling and on the estima-tion of biological reference points in the context of multispecies interactions. The updated key-runs for the North Sea and the Baltic Sea provided the best available estimates of predation mortality for a number of key commercial stocks in these two ecoregions which have been already integrated into the stock assessments throughout benchmarks and inter-benchmarks. Analyses accumulate showing that ignoring strong trophic interactions may lead to bias in the perception of stocks status and in the calculation of reference points. Evaluations show advantages of using multi-model ensembles to capture the dynamics of the main stocks and the system overall. Results  accumulated  so  far  suggest  that  the  benefits  of  ensemble modelling exist for both simple models, i.e. multispecies production models, as well as more complex ecosystem models. Various approaches are available to the practice of ensemble modelling, including a fully Bayesian ensemble framework suitable also for multi-model forecasts.

The report includes also progresses with software developments to enhance accessibility of some complex routines, including ensemble modelling beyond “just a simple average approach” and computation  of  multispecies  reference  points,  to  a  broader  group  of  modellers  and  users.  The  group  sees  these  developments  as  a  great  opportunity  to  work  more  towards  cross-platform comparisons and further on multispecies skill assessment which will remain important themes for continuation of the work. To further progress the use of multispecies and ecosystem models, collection of ecosystem data remains highly relevant, with priority on stomach data and other information on processes affecting trophic interactions and trophodynamics of ecosystems (i.e., predator-prey overlap, temperature-dependent consumption, availability of other food).


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Valerio Bartolino; Sarah Gaichas

Contributors (Authors)

Valerio Bartolino; Sarah Gaichas; Alan Baudron; Vanessa Trijoulet; Floor Soudijn; Isaac Kaplan; Sean Lucey; Pierre-Yves Hernvann; Igor Celic; Alfonso Perez-Rodriguez; Andrea Belgrano; Liesa Celie; Kiersten Curti; Francisco de Castro; Thomas Del Santo O'Neill; Robert Gamble; Daniel Howell; Nis Sand Jacobsen; Alexander Kempf; Ronald Klasky; Nataliia Kulatska; James Martindale; Cristina Perez; Miriam Püts; Anna Rindorf; Alexandra Silva; Laurel Smith; Anika Sonjudóttir; Michael Spence; Robert Thorpe; Howard Townsend; Ching Villanueva; Morten Vinther; Zampieri Carlo



Recommended citation

ICES. 2021. Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM). ICES Scientific Reports. 3:115. 50 pp.