Lessons for stock assessment from the northern cod collapse
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Fisheries assessment scientists can learn at least three lessons from the collapse of the northern cod off Newfoundland: (1) assessment errors can contribute to overfishing through optimistic long-term forecasts leading to the build-up of overcapacity or through optimistic assessments which lead to TACs being set higher than they should; (2) stock size overestimation is a major risk when commercial catch per effort is used as an abundance trend index, so there is continued need to invest in survey indices of abundance trend no matter what assessment methodology is used; and (3) the risk of recruitment overfishing exists and may be high even for very fecund species like cod. This implies that harvest rate targets should be lower than has often been assumed, especially when stock size assessments are uncertain. In the end, the high cost of information for accurate stock assessment may call for an alternative approach to management, involving regulation of exploitation rate via measures such as large-scale closures (refuges) that directly restrict the proportion of fish available to harvest. Development of predictive models for such regulatory options is a major challenge for fisheries assessment science.
- Anon. (1977) Repost of the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics (STACRES). Appendix I, Report of Assessment Subcommittee, p.54. Int. Comm. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, Redbook 1977. 116pp.
- Baird, J.W., Bishop, C.A., Brodie, W.B. and Murphy, E.F. (1992) An assessment of the cod stock in NAFO divisions 2J3KL. NAFO Sci. Council Res. Doc. 92/18, Ser. No. N2063.
- Canadian Atlantic Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee, Annual Report for 1986. Dept Fisheries and Oceans, Dartmouth, Canada
- Cooke, J.G., Beddington, J.R. (1985) The relationship between catch rates and abundance in fishes. IMA J. Math. Appl. Med. Biol. 2: pp. 1-15
- Deriso, R.B. (1987) Optimal F0.1 criteria and their relationship to maximum sustainable yield. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 44: pp. 339-48
- Dugan, J.F., Davis, G.E. (1993) Applications of marine refugia to coastal fisheries management. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 50: pp. 2029-42
- Finlayson, A. (1994) Fishing for Truth: A Sociological Analysis of Northern Cod Stock Assessments from 1977–1990. Inst. Social and Economic Res., Memorial University, St John's Nfld
- Fleming, A.M. (1965) Trends in catch, age, and size of cod from the commercial longline fishery at Bonavista, Newfoundland, 1952–1962. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 22: pp. 465-74
- Gavaris, S. (1988) An adaptive framework for the estimation of population size. CAFSAC (Can. Atl. Fish. Sci. Adv. Comm.) Res. Doc. 88/29.
- Grecco, V., Overholtz, W.J. (1990) Causes of density-dependent catchability for Georges Bank haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus). Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 47: pp. 385-94
- Harris, L. (1990) Independent review of the stae of the northern cod stock. Communications Directorate, Canadian Dept Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa
- Hilborn, R., Walters, C. (1992) Quantitative Fisheries Stock Assessment and Management: Choice, Dynamics, and Uncertainty. Chapman & Hall, New York
- Hutchings, J., Myers, R.A. (1994) What can be learned from the collapse of a renewable resource? Atlantic cod, Gadus Morhua, of Newfoundland and Labrador. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 51: pp. 2126-46
- Report of the workshop on methods of fish stock assessment. Int. Council for the Exploration of the Seas, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Lear, W.H. and Parsons, L.S. (1993) History and management of the fishery for northern cod in NAFO Divisions 2J, 3K, and 3L In Parsons, L.S. and Lear, W.H., eds. Perspectives on Canadian marine fisheries management. Can. Bull. Fish. aquat. Sci. No. 226, pp. 55–89.
- McGuire, T.R. (1991) Science and the destruction of a shrimp fleet. Mar. anthropol. Stud. 4: pp. 32-55
- Myers, R.A. and Barrowman, N.J. (1994) Is fish recruitment related to spawner abundance. ICES CM 1994/G: 37, Ref. H.
- Myers, R.A., Drinkwater, K.F., Barrowman, N.J., Baird, J.W. (1993) Salinity and recruitment of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the Newfoundland region. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 50: pp. 1599-1609
- Myers, R.A., Rosenberg, A.A., Mace, P.M., Barrowman, N., Restrepo, Y.R. (1994) In search of thresholds for recruitment overfishing. ICES J. mar. Sci. 51: pp. 191-205
- NAFO (1991) Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, Scientific Council Reports for 1981. Dartmouth, Canada.
- Patterson, K. (1992) Fisheries for small pelagic species: an empirical approach to management targets. Rev. Fish Biol. Fisheries 2: pp. 321-38
- Pauly, D. (1994) On the Sex of Fish and the Gender of Scientists. Chapman and Hall, London, UK
- Pitcher, T., Hart, P.J.B. (1982) Fisheries Ecology. Chapman and Hall, London
- Restrepo, V.R., Hoenig, J.M., Powers, J.E., Baird, J.W., Turner, S.C. (1992) A simple simulation approach to risk and cost analysis, with applications to swordfish and cod fisheries. Fishery Bull. 90: pp. 736-48
- Rivard, D. (1989) Overview of the systematic, structural and sampling errors in cohort analysis. Am. Fish. Soc. Symp. 6: pp. 49-65
- Steele, D.H., Andersen, R., Green, J.M. (1992) The managed commercial annihilation of northern cod. Newfoundland Stud. 8: pp. 34-68
- Swain, D.P., Sinclair, A.F. (1994) Fish distribution and catchability: what is the appropriate measure of distribution?. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 51: pp. 1046-54
- Swain, D.P., Nielsen, G.A., Sinclair, A.F. and Chouinard, G.A. (1994) Changes in catchability of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) to an otter trawl fishery and research survey in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. ICES J. mar. Sci. (in press).
- Tobin, B. (1995) Speaking for the fish. Fisheries 20: pp. 18-19
- Walters, C.J., Ludwig, D. (1987) Adaptive management of harvest rates in the pressure of a risk averse utility function. Nat. Res. Model. 1: pp. 21-37
- Walters, C.J., Ludwig, D. (1994) Calculation of Bayes posterior probability distributions for key population parameters. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 51: pp. 713-22
- Walters, C.J., Punt, A. (1994) Placing odds on sustainable catch using virtual population analysis and survey data. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 51: pp. 946-58
- Lessons for stock assessment from the northern cod collapse
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Volume 6, Issue 2 , pp 125-137
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links