A new approach for estimating the fishing mortality benchmark Fmsy (fishing pressure that corresponds to maximum sustainable yield) is proposed. The approach includes density-dependent factors. The analysis considers 53 data-rich fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. The new Fmsy values are estimated from an ensemble of data sources: (i) applying traditional surplus production models on time-series of historic stock sizes, fishing mortalities, and catches from the current annual assessments; (ii) dynamic pool model (e.g. age-structured models) estimation for stocks where data on density-dependent growth, maturity, and mortality are available; (iii) extracts from multispecies and ecosystem literature for stocks where well-tested estimates are available; (iv) the “Great Experiment” where fishing pressure on the demersal stocks in the Northeast Atlantic slowly increased for half a century; and (v) linking Fmsy to life history parameters. The new Fmsy values are substantially higher (average equal to 0.38 year1) than the current Fmsy values (average equal to 0.26 year1) estimated in stock assessments and used by management, similar to the fishing pressure in the 1960s, and about 30% lower than the fishing pressure in 1970–2000.
Estimating Fmsy from an ensemble of data sources to account for density dependence in Northeast Atlantic fish stocks
Sparholt, H., Bogstad, B., Christensen, V., Collie, J., van Gemert, R., Hilborn, R., Horbowy, J., Howell, D., Melnychuk, M. C., Pedersen, S. A., Sparrevohn, C. R., Stefansson, G., Steingrund, P. (2021). Estimating Fmsy from an ensemble of data sources to account for density dependence in Northeast Atlantic fish stocks. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78, 55-69
Appeared in : ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78, 55-69