Options for Data-Limited Stock Assessment of Chars, Salvelinus spp.

Options for Data-Limited Stock Assessment of Chars, Salvelinus spp.

Ross F. Tallman, Xinhua Zhu, Yamin Janjua, Marie-Julie Roux, and Kimberly L. Howland

Options for Data-Limited Stock Assessment of Chars, Salvelinus spp.This is part of Assessing and Managing Data-Limited Fish Stocks
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Char fisheries around the polar rim are remote, small scale, and of high importance to northern communities for subsistence, sport, and commercial fisheries. The relatively low productivity of chars makes them vulnerable to overexploitation but often only limited data are available to assess conservation risk. As an alternative to conventional fishery analysis, we analyze the sustainability and viability of selected North American char stocks using a number of data-limited analysis approaches. We compare several methods for data-limited situations to determine the allowable harvest of the Ekalluk River, Paliryuak River, Halovik River, Jayco Lake, and Lauchlan River arctic char including Cadima’s Maximum Sustainable Production Method, Hierarchical Bayesian Surplus Production Models, a Status Quo Total Allowable Harvest method, Long-term Average Catch methods, and the Depletion-Corrected Average Catch method. Each method provided a similar outcome in terms of the relative importance of stocks to the fishery. The predicted sustainable harvest of larger stocks such as the Ekalluk and Jayco varied more according to the method applied than the other stocks studied. While not a replacement for more comprehensive fishery models, these methods can be useful in data-poor situations.

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