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Developing methods to assess data-limited fish stocks

Join the workshop that advances data-limited assessment methodologies.
Published: 15 September 2020

​​​​​ICES advice puts scientific findings and information in the hands of decision-makers. The majority of the world's fish stocks lack adequate data for conventional stock assessment methods. These stocks are known as "data-limited" and more than 60% of ICES stocks are data-limited.

Until recently, fisheries science was unable to inform decision-makers on the status and potential of data-limited fish stocks because we lacked suitable assessment methods. Since 2010, ICES has turned this picture around. We have become a world leader in developing and applying methods that help decision-makers meet fisheries management and biodiversity policy objectives. There is an ever-growing suite of methods and tools available for assessing data-limited stocks and much of this work has been developed through our WKLIFE workshop series.

WKLIFE is set to hold its tenth edition in October. From 5–9, chairs Manuela Azevedo, Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere, and Carl O’Brien, Cefas, will lead participants at WKLIFEX, the Tenth Workshop on the Development of Quantitative Assessment Methodologies based on LIFE-history traits, exploitation characteristics, and other relevant parameters for data-limited stocks.

This session of WKLIFE will see participants explore the operating model set-up for data-limited simulations. This will include sensitivity analyses based on elasticity analysis, on how the different life-history and fishery parameters affect the simulated stock behaviour under exploitation, an analysis of the nature of time series and trends of observable stock characteristics (such as fishery dependent and independent metrics), and how the knowledge gained can be used to further improve the performance of catch rules.

An important focus will be on the transition of the group’s work to embrace multi-species challenges rather than the current single species approaches. There will be exploration and development of methods appropriate for data-limited, data-moderate and data-rich fisheries such as MERA, DLMtool and MSEtool libraries - together with emerging multispecies approaches both within and outside the ICES community.

Azevedo and O’Brien invite anyone with an interest in continuing ICES development of appropriate methods for the assessment and provision of fishing opportunities for data-limited species and stocks to participate in WKLIFEX. An important asset, the note, is open-mindedness and a willingness to debate and challenge the status quo. Through joining, participants will be rewarded with sharing ideas and experiences with an established ICES community that has been undertaking data-limited studies for more than a decade.​

Does this sound like you? Register your interest or your place by contacting Helle Gjeding Jørgensen​.

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​Over the past decade, WKLIFE has advanced data-limited assessment methodologies.

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Developing methods to assess data-limited fish stocks

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