Comparison of Methods for Detecting Climate-Induced Changes in Productivity of Pacific Salmon Stocks

Comparison of Methods for Detecting Climate-Induced Changes in Productivity of Pacific Salmon Stocks

Randall M. Peterman, Jeff Grout, and Brian J. Pyper

Comparison of Methods for Detecting Climate-Induced Changes in Productivity of Pacific Salmon StocksThis is part of Ecosystem Approaches for Fisheries Management
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Description

Recent research has shown that Pacific salmon populations can experience abrupt and persistent changes in mean productivity that appear to be closely related to climatic changes. However, it is difficult to forecast such non-stationarity in salmon productivity because of large uncertainties about mechanisms that link climatic changes, freshwater and oceanographic conditions, and salmon. Furthermore, inseason monitoring of salmon abundance and changes in regulations have not usually been able to make up for such errors in forecasts when attempting to meet management objectives. Therefore, management agencies need methods to reliably detect and respond to such changes in productivity in a timely manner to avoid costly, suboptimal harvests or depletion of stocks. The purpose of our research was to compare the effectiveness of various parameter estimation methods at tracking such changes in a timely, accurate, and precise manner.

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