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Managing fisheries for catch and conservation: should harvesting be adjusted to account for perceived biases in fish stock assessments?

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Author: Keizer, Adam
Information from stock assessment models is uncertain, and biased information can result in a fishery failing to meet its objectives. A retrospective pattern is a measure of uncertainty produced by a retrospective analysis that indicates that the data are inconsistent with assumptions made in the stock assessment model specification. Decision-makers may make ad hoc adjustments to harvest advice based on information from a retrospective analysis, however the ability of a fishery to meet conservation and yield objectives as a result of such an adjustment are often unknown. I use feedback simulation modelling to evaluate the performance alternative harvest control rules and adjustments in the presence of retrospective patterns. My study found no conservation benefit to using a retrospective adjustment derived from recent historic retrospective patterns, and that the adjustment comes at a cost to catch stability.
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