The management strategy evaluation approach and the fishery for walleye pollock in the Gulf of Alaska

The management strategy evaluation approach and the fishery for walleye pollock in the Gulf of Alaska

Z.T. A'mar, A.E. Punt, and M.W. Dorn

The management strategy evaluation approach and the fishery for walleye pollock in the Gulf of AlaskaThis is part of Resiliency of Gadid Stocks to Fishing and Climate Change
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Description

Management strategy evaluation (MSE) is the process of using simulation testing to examine the robustness of candidate management strategies to error and uncertainty. MSE involves using (1) a model (the "operating model") to represent the true underlying dynamics of the resource and to generate future data, (2) an estimation model to assess the state of the stock relative to agreed target and limit reference points based on the data simulated using the operating model, and (3) a decision rule
to determine management actions (e.g., the acceptable biological catch, ABC) given the results of the estimation model. The latter two steps constitute the management strategy. The parameters of the management strategy can be selected to attempt to satisfy desired (but conflicting) management goals and objectives. The results of an MSE are performance measures that quantify the effectiveness of the estimation model and, more generally, the management strategy. MSE is used in this paper to evaluate the extent to which the current management strategy for the fishery for walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) is able to satisfy the management objectives of avoiding low stock size and achieving high, stable catches, given error and uncertainty regarding the data used for assessment purposes, and the
form of the stock-recruitment relationship. The results of the analyses indicate that the current management strategy for GOA pollock appears to meet the management sustainability goals when the actual resource dynamics are consistent with the current stock assessment and for two scenarios with alternative stock-recruitment relationships.

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