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Old 11-13-2009, 05:19 PM
dales529 dales529 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,635
Default 2009 Stock Assesments help?

Spent a good portion of the day trying to educate myself and grasp what these press releases really mean to the average angler. I am sure I am missing something but any help is appreciated.

What I came up with is a basic understanding of the Acronyms (Fishing Mortality Rates, SSB, SSB targets, SSB Thresholds, FMAX, FMSY, Discards and a limited understanding of their formulas (should have paid more attention in "flawed science / data building class").
What confuses me are the assesment reports text that continually state comments such as:
50% probalilty
NOT reliable
Not Overfished or Overfishing BUT....... could be.
No stock model available so we used (EG: Halibut vs Summer Flounder as they are similar "flatfish")
A Pattern of underestimation of abundance and overestimation of SSB but NOT reliable.
Results not favorable from VTR so assumed under reporting from recreational Charter / Party Boats
There are many more if you read this stuff.

My business is a design / engineering Consulting firm and as an example we do a lot of work for Colgate Palmolive: If I was quoting a project on their Deoderant Line and stated that I didnt have the "proper model" so I was going to base their project on lets say their dishwashing liquid and then added only a 50% probablity factor to my design do you think I would get the project?
I can only imagine after the laughter and then SEE YA comments what my reputation would be.

By no means have I been thorough enough here but it seems to me that by written statement they admit that the data is UNRELIABLE. I get the "BEST Science Available" mantra but it appears obvious this IS a flawed system and MUST be changed.

Capt Tony/ Adam/ or anyone else can you help simplify, explain what I am missing, what I should be getting out of these reports and help me understand why I want to read this stuff and how better can I relate it to helping the cause.
RFA-NJ Member
Old 11-13-2009, 06:23 PM
CaptTB CaptTB is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,074
Default Re: 2009 Stock Assesments help?

Originally Posted by dales529
A Pattern of underestimation of abundance and overestimation of SSB but NOT reliable.
I'll touch on just this one item you posted for the moment.

In the past, the "retrospective analysis" of data from the Summer Flounder fishery found a "bias" in the estimation of mortality and biomass for the terminal year.

They habitually OVERestimated biomass and UNDERestimated mortality.

In other words, whatever the mortality rate and biomass levels were estimated in, for example, 2005 (the terminal year) when they went back later (say in 2006 or 2007) and looked at the fishery in "retrospect" they discovered that the level of mortality in 2005 was higher than they thought at that time and the size of the biomass was smaller than they thought at that time.

So, in "retrospect" the data had a tendency do underestimate mortality and overestimate biomass.

How does this make a difference for the "cause" you ask? Well, to drive home the importance of getting involved, as a direct result of the most recent stock assessment for Fluke, and a direct result of the changes that were made from the cooperative efforts of the fisheries scientists and independent scientists like Dr. Maunder, you now have a change in that retrospective analysis in Summer Flounder.

Here is a direct quote from the meeting minutes of the August MAFMC meeting while setting the quota for 2010 for Summer Flounder. This is a quote from Dr. John Boreman, Chairman of the SSC:
Originally Posted by Dr. Boreman
Comment on the retrospective patterns. I remember sitting in this Council a few years ago -- and again, this was a hard lesson to learn -- was the value of taking into account retrospective patterns. But if you look at the most recent years under the new modeling regime for summer flounder, those patterns have basically diminished to be a little bit more than maybe -- maybe not -- maybe more than noise around the estimate, the current year estimate. So, some -- now we have some years where the pattern shows it was biased a little high, next year it's biased a little low, but much diminished from the earlier years when we had a high retrospective pattern always biased in one direction; that is, overestimating spawning stock biomass and underestimating fishing mortality. That doesn't seem to be the case any more.
So not only did the efforts of SSFFF and others have a positive effect on the biomass estimates and resulting quota for Summer Flounder, but the overall science for the fishery has improved.

Last edited by CaptTB; 11-13-2009 at 06:28 PM..
Old 11-13-2009, 07:57 PM
dales529 dales529 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,635
Default Re: 2009 Stock Assesments help?

Thank You, as expected an informative answer which satisfies this question,
please expect more "general" (better term than stupid) questions going forward and appreciate your time in answering

I encourage OTHERS to ASK questions to better understand what we are dealing with, appreciate the information posted here and support the efforts of the groups/ individuals working for us which as you can see MATTER a great deal and deserve our support as well as our questions.
RFA-NJ Member

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