International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
WCSAM13.pdf (1.53 MB)

World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods (WCSAM)

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posted on 2013-09-05, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The ICES Strategic Initiative for Stock Assessment Methods was designed to assure that scientists can apply the best stock assessment methods when developing man-agement advice for fisheries. This aim is shared by many RFMO and national fisher-ies organisations. The World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods (WCSAM) was organised as a milestone for the initiative.At the conference (17-19th July 2013), many of the world's leading stock assessment experts met to test and discuss stock assessment methods. Over 220 participants from 27 countries participated in the conference. The conference provided a forum for presentations on the application and future of stock assessment methods. It consid-ered single stock approaches for data rich and poor stocks, and also multispecies and ecosystem based approaches. A two day workshop preceded the conference (15-16th July) and provided the most comprehensive comparison among assessment methods to date The conference proper began with a challenging key note address by Sidney Holt, who expressed his opinion that MSY as a target is ‘rubbish.’The workshop found that with recent developments in stock assessment methods, a new set of “good practice” guidelines was required. It proposed an iterative route to create the guidelines. These guidelines should first target stock assessment methods but guidelines were also required for simulation testing. New assessment methods should be tested via simulation (applying the new assessment method to data simu-lated from the same or from alternative models). The workshop further highlighted that there are many challenges still to be resolved when applying multiple models to a single stock, or using generic tools. There was a tension between research groups that were pursuing the generic package approach with those constructing models tailored to particular assessments. The workshop agreed that more robust use of sta-tistical analysis was required when investigating the performance of stock assessment methods.


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