A key assumption of many fish stock assessment models is that catchability is constant over time. We assume here that trends in catchability may occur through fishing power creeping. The tuning fleets, which are prone to fishing power development, may be identified using the "Hybrid" method. A range of catchability trends, including values derived from the "Hybrid" method, is then implemented to standardise the fishing effort of some tuning fleets used in the stock assessments performed by XSA (eXtended Survivors Analysis). Stocks being assessed are the North Sea cod, saithe, plaice and sole. The performances of the new and traditional XSA assessments are compared using criteria based on the precision of catchability estimates, stationarity of Log-catchability residuals and retrospective patterns relative to fishing mortality, spawning stock biomass and recruitment estimates. The performances of the North Sea cod, plaice and sole assessments could be enhanced by accounting for an overall annual increase in the catchability of some of the tuning fleets. No significant trends could be detected in the catchability of the tuning fleets relative to the assessment of the North Sea saithe. By contrast with the traditional assessment, the spawning biomass of cod is expected not to have increased between 1997 and 1998, while the fishing mortality of sole is expected to have increased over the same period.
|Issue number||Suppl. 1|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|