A Model-Based Approach to Designing a Fishery-Independent Survey

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Abstract

This paper uses Generalized Additive Models to evaluate model-based designs for wildlife abundance surveys where substantial pre-existing data are available. This is often the case in fisheries with historical catch and effort data. Compared to conventional stratified design or design-based designs, our model-based designs can be both efficient and flexible, for example in allowing uneven sampling due to survey logistics, and providing a general framework to answer specific design questions. As an example, we describe the design and preliminary implementation of a trawl survey for eleven fish species along the continental slope off South-East Australia.