Connecting single-stock assessment models through correlated survival

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Fisheries management is mainly conducted via single-stock assessment models assuming that fish stocks do not interact, except through assumed natural mortalities. Currently, the main alternative is complex ecosystem models which require extensive data, are difficult to calibrate, and have long run times. We propose a simple alternative. In three case studies each with two stocks, we improve the single-stock models, as measured by Akaike information criterion, by adding correlation in the cohort survival. To limit the number of parameters, the correlations are parameterized through the corresponding partial correlations. We consider six models where the partial correlation matrix between stocks follows a band structure ranging from independent assessments to complex correlation structures. Further, a simulation study illustrates the
importance of handling correlated data sufficiently by investigating the coverage of confidence intervals for estimated fishing mortality. The results presented will allow managers to evaluate stock statuses based on a more accurate evaluation of model output uncertainty. The methods are directly implementable for stocks with an analytical assessment and do not require any new data sources
Original languageEnglish
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)235-244
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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