Workshop on the production of abundance estimates for sensitive species (WKABSENS)
The Workshop on the production of annual estimates of abundance of sensitive species (WKABSENS) met to define sensitive species, collate ICES assessments of abundance where these are available, and estimate indices of their abundance per swept-area where not, for the OSPAR area. The analyses identified 140 potentially sensitive species or species complexes, among which 10 are diadromous and three are coastal, 20 have uncertain species ID and nine were identified as sensitive in only one of the sources examined. Among the sensitive species and species complexes, there was sufficient data to provide abundance indices for 50 species, of which 16 had existing stock assessments whereas the workshop derived abundance estimates for the remaining 34 species from survey data. Three statistical modelling approaches (binomial, General Additive Models (GAMs) and VAST) and were explored and the final abundance indices were calculated using GAMs. The species were divided into stocks before estimating abundance indices where these could be identified from the spatial distribution of the species in the survey. The group considered that a similar analysis using data from additional surveys, commercial indices or data from bycatch observers can potentially provide improved abundance estimates for species with variable or low catchability, such as deep-water and pelagic species.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee