National Academies Press: OpenBook

Improving Fish Stock Assessments (1998)

Chapter:Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
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IMPROVING FISH STOCK ASSESSMENTS

Committee on Fish Stock Assessment Methods

Ocean Studies Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1998

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility of advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

This report and the committee were supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor.

This study was supported by Contract No. 50-DGNC-3-00016 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 98-84433

International Standard Book Number 0-309-05725-6

Additional copies of this report are available from:
National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu

Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
×

Committee on Fish Stock Assessment Methods

RICHARD DERISO (Cochairman),

Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La Jolla, California

TERRANCE QUINN (Cochairman),

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau

JEREMY COLLIE,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

RAY HILBORN,

University of Washington, Seattle

CYNTHIA JONES,

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

BRUCE LINDSAY,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

ANA PARMA,

International Pacific Halibut Commission, Seattle, Washington

SAUL SAILA,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

LYNDA SHAPIRO,

University of Oregon, Charleston

STEPHEN JOSEPH SMITH,

Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

CARL WALTERS,

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Staff

EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Study Director

LORA TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
×

Ocean Studies Board

KENNETH BRINK (Chairman),

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

ALICE ALLDREDGE,

University of California, Santa Barbara

DAVID BRADLEY,

Pennsylvania State University, State College

WILLIAM CURRY,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

ELLEN DRUFFEL,

University of California, Irvine

RANA FINE,

University of Miami, Florida

CARL FRIEHE,

University of California, Irvine

ROBERT GAGOSIAN,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

SUSAN HANNA,

Oregon State University, Corvallis

JOHN HOBBIE,

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

EILEEN HOFMANN,

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

JOHN KNAUSS,

University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

ROBERT KNOX,

University of California, San Diego

RAY KRONE,

University of California, Davis

LOUIS LANZEROTTI,

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, New Jersey

JOHN MAGNUSON,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

WILLIAM MERRELL,

The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Washington, D.C.

B. GREGORY MITCHELL,

University of California, San Diego

NEIL OPDYKE,

University of Florida, Gainesville

MICHAEL ORBACH,

Duke University Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, North Carolina

TERRANCE QUINN,

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau

C. BARRY RALEIGH,

University of Hawaii, Honolulu

JAMES RAY,

Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas

GEORGE SOMERO,

Stanford University, Pacific Grove, California

PAUL STOFFA,

University of Texas, Austin

Staff

MORGAN GOPNIK, Director

M. ELIZABETH CLARKE, Associate Director

EDWARD R. URBAN, JR., Program Officer

DAN WALKER, Program Officer

ROBIN MORRIS, Administrative Associate

GLENN MERRILL, Research Associate

LORA TAYLOR, Senior Project Assistant

JENNIFER SWERDA, Project Assistant

SHARI MAGUIRE, Project Assistant

ANN CARLISLE, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
×

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chairman),

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

PATRICK R. ATKINS,

Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

JAMES P. BRUCE,

Canadian Climate Program Board, Ottawa, Ontario

WILLIAM L. FISHER,

University of Texas, Austin

JERRY F. FRANKLIN,

University of Washington, Seattle

THOMAS E. GRAEDEL,

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

DEBRA KNOPMAN,

Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C.

KAI N. LEE,

Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

PERRY L. MCCARTY,

Stanford University, California

JUDITH E. MCDOWELL,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts

RICHARD A. MESERVE,

Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.

S. GEORGE PHILANDER,

Princeton University, New Jersey

RAYMOND A. PRICE,

Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario

THOMAS C. SCHELLING,

University of Maryland, College Park

ELLEN SILBERGELD,

University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore

VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL,

Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida

E-AN ZEN,

University of Maryland, College Park

Staff

MYRON UMAN, Acting Executive Director

GREGORY SYMMES, Assistant Executive Director

JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer

SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
×

Preface

Global marine fish harvest has plateaued and many important commercial stocks have been depleted. The Ocean Studies Board (OSB), at the request of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), has provided advice designed to improve management of marine fisheries in the United States (NRC, 1994a). Many of the changes suggested in the 1994 report Improving the Management of U.S. Marine Fisheries were incorporated in the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) in 1996.

NMFS also has asked the OSB for advice on specific issues of Atlantic bluefin tuna population biology; the OSB presented its results in another 1994 report, An Assessment of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (NRC, 1994b). Following the publication of that report, there was a widespread expression of the need for reviews of several other specific stock assessments. NMFS responded by requesting a broad review of the methods used in the United States for stock assessments. The results of that review are presented in this report.

This study would not have been possible without the efforts of NMFS scientists who carried out blind runs of data provided by the study committee and participated in the committee's meetings. The cooperation between academic and agency scientists was commendable and actually led to advances in the state of the art of fish stock assessments. The OSB offers sincere thanks to NMFS analysts for their considerable efforts, including Ray Conser, Jeff Fujioka, Wendy Gabriel, Phil Goodyear, Jim Ianelli, Rick Methot, Jerry Pella, Clay Porch, Joe Powers, Mike Prager, Victor Restrepo, Gerald Scott, and Mike Sigler. Other individuals also contributed to the committee's work and deserve the thanks of the committee and the OSB: Jie Zheng (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Andre Punt (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia), and David Fournier (Otter Research Ltd.).

The results of this study will serve as an important foundation for the National Research Council review of the U.S. Northeast fisheries stock assessments that was mandated by Congress in 1996 as part of the MSFCMA reauthorization. The recommendations presented herein should also be useful to ongoing international activities related to fish stock assessments, such as those of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Kenneth Brink

Chairman, Ocean Studies Board

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1998. Improving Fish Stock Assessments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5951.
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Ocean harvests have plateaued worldwide and many important commercial stocks have been depleted. This has caused great concern among scientists, fishery managers, the fishing community, and the public. This book evaluates the major models used for estimating the size and structure of marine fish populations (stock assessments) and changes in populations over time. It demonstrates how problems that may occur in fisheries data—for example underreporting or changes in the likelihood that fish can be caught with a given type of gear—can seriously degrade the quality of stock assessments. The volume makes recommendations for means to improve stock assessments and their use in fishery management.

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