Trawl surveys provide important information for evaluation of relative stock abundance fluctuations over time. Therefore, when survey gears or vessels are changed, it is important to compare the efficiency and selectivity of old and new gears and vessels. A method for estimation of conversion factors is developed based on a survey design where paired hauls are taken in the same trawl track line. The method explicitly accounts for changes in fish density caused by trawling disturbance. A generalized linear model for paired hauls catches is analytically derived and the gear conversion and disturbance parameters with their precision are obtained using standard software. Simulation studies carried out additionally showed that the estimated conversion factors were practically unbiased. Because of the independence of the spatial fish distribution, the new method is preferable to the traditional paired hauls design for which it is generally not possible to obtain the statistical properties of the estimated conversion factors. The paper is concluded with suggestions on how to optimize survey design. The method was used to estimate conversion factors for Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) from Danish gear calibration experiments in the Baltic Sea.
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|