Environmental and Ecological Statistics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 89–108 | Cite as

Time-Dependent Instantaneous Mortality Rates from Multiple Tagging Experiments with Exact Times of Release and Recovery

  • George M. LeighEmail author
  • William S. Hearn
  • Kenneth H. Pollock
Original Article


Instantaneous natural mortality rates and a nonparametric hunting mortality function are estimated from a multiple-year tagging experiment with arbitrary, time-dependent fishing or hunting mortality. Our theory allows animals to be tagged over a range of times in each year, and to take time to mix into the population. Animals are recovered by hunting or fishing, and death events from natural causes occur but are not observed. We combine a long-standing approach based on yearly totals, described by Brownie et al. (1985, Statistical Inference from Band Recovery Data: A Handbook, Second edition, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, Resource Publication, 156), with an exact-time-of-recovery approach originated by Hearn, Sandland and Hampton (1987, Journal du Conseil International pour l’Exploration de la Mer, 43, 107–117), who modeled times at liberty without regard to time of tagging. Our model allows for exact times of release and recovery, incomplete reporting of recoveries, and potential tag shedding. We apply our methods to data on the heavily exploited southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii).


Fishing mortality Hunting mortality Natural mortality Nonparametric estimation Tag shedding Tuna 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Leigh
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • William S. Hearn
    • 2
  • Kenneth H. Pollock
    • 3
  1. 1.Queensland Department of Primary Industries and FisheriesSouthern Fisheries CentreDeception BayAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Marine ResearchWembleyAustralia
  3. 3.Departments of Zoology and StatisticsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research CentreUniversity of QueenslandIndooroopillyAustralia

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