Training courses

Introduction to Integrated Stock Assessment using Stock Synthesis

Stock Synthesis (SS3) is a highly flexible assessment working with varying amounts and types of age, length & abundance data.

18–22 September 2023
ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark
In-person participation

Registration is closed.


The course will cover fisheries stock assessment principles and instruction on using the Stock Synthesis (SS3) modeling platform. The course will include theoretical and practical sessions, during which students will apply the model to datasets provided by the instructors. Time will be allocated for students to apply SS3 to their own data set.

Course outline:

  • concept of Integrated Analysis (IA) as implemented in SS3
  • relationship of SS3 to statistical CAA and data-limited tools
  • online resources

Overview of Basic Features:

  • catch and fishing mortality
  • surveys and catchability
  • age-composition data and age selectivity
  • recruitment and spawner-recruitment

Simple examples:

  • age-structured production model
  • data-limited equilibrium model
  • statistical catch-at-age

Running SS3:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • ​the Interface
  • command line
  • graphical interf​ace
  • R
  • run-time problem resolution
  • associated tools in R
  • viewing output with r4ss
  • diagnosing the fit

Intermediate features:

  • l​​ength-composition data and length selectivity
  • growth
  • log-likelihood and data weighting
  • parameters and priors
  • MSY based reference points (benchmarks)
  • forecasts

Intermediate examples:

  • length composition data but no ages (e.g. tuna)
  • age and length data, with growth estimated
  • demonstration of model internal consistency with flat time series


Participants should have a basic understanding of population dynamics, fisheries biology, quantitative data analysis, and stock assessment. Intermediate/advanced knowledge of R is desirable.  Knowledge of C++ and ADMB is not necessary.

Registration for this course is closed.

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Richard Methot, NOAA, US​​A
Massimiliano Cardinale, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden​​
Ian Taylor, NOAA, USA

​Course fee:
750 Euros for ICES member country affiliated participants
1250 Euros for non-member country affiliated participants

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Introduction to Integrated Stock Assessment using Stock Synthesis

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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