Journal Article

Investigating the use of proxies for fecundity to improve management advice for western horse mackerel <i>Trachurus trachurus</i>

J.A.A. De Oliveira, B.A. Roel and M. Dickey-Collas

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 1, pages 25-35
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.07.006
Investigating the use of proxies for fecundity to improve management advice for western horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus

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Observations of fecundity from the 2001 western horse mackerel spawning-stock biomass survey suggest that the species is an indeterminate spawner. Therefore, estimates of fecundity based on biological analyses and until recently used in the calibration of the stock assessment are now questioned. The stock is assessed by fitting a linked Separable and ADAPT VPA-based model to the catch-at-age data and to the egg production estimates. Currently, the assumption is that egg production and spawning-stock biomass are linked by a constant but unknown fecundity parameter, estimated within the model. In this study, the effects of introducing relationships linking biological indicators of fecundity, such as lipid content or feeding intensity during the spawning season, to actual fecundity are examined within a simulation framework. Simulations suggest that when the underlying relationships between fecundity and the proxy are poorly described, weak, or based on a relatively short time-series of data, the assumption of constant fecundity will result in better management advice than using the proxy.

Keywords: egg production; fecundity index; management advice; simulation testing; spawning-stock biomass

Journal Article.  5877 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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