Stock assessment and projections incorporating discards estimates in some years: An application to the hake stock in ICES divisions VIIIc and IXa
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AuthorsFernández-Llana, C. (Carmen); Cerviño, S. (Santiago); Pérez-Contreras, M.N. (María Nélida); Jardim, E. (Ernesto)
Markov chain Monte Carlo
A Bayesian age-structured stock assessment model is developed to take into account available information on discards and to handle gaps in the time-series of discard estimates. The model incorporates mortality attributable to discarding, and appropriate assumptions about how this mortality may change over time are made. The result is a stock assessment that accounts for information on discards while, at the same time, producing a complete time-series of discard estimates. The method is applied to the hake stock in ICES Divisions VIIIc and IXa, for which the available data indicate that some 60% of the individuals caught are discarded. The stock is fished by Spain and Portugal, and for each country, there are discard estimates for recent years only. Moreover, the years for which Portuguese estimates are available are only a subset of those with Spanish estimates. Two runs of the model are performed; one assuming zero discards and another incorporating discards. When discards are ...