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Unquantifiable uncertainty in projecting stock response to climate change: Example from North East Arctic cod
Howell, D.; Filin, A.; Bogstad, B.; Stiansen, J.E. (2013). Unquantifiable uncertainty in projecting stock response to climate change: Example from North East Arctic cod. Mar. Biol. Res. 9(9): 920-931. hdl.handle.net/10.1080/17451000.2013.775452
In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo; Basingstoke. ISSN 1745-1000, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Climate change; Modelling; Uncertainty; Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Barents Sea; North East Arctic cod; STOCOBAR

Authors  Top 
  • Howell, D.
  • Filin, A.
  • Bogstad, B., more
  • Stiansen, J.E.

Abstract
    >Data suggest that for some years there has been a positive relationship between the recruitment of cod in the Barents Sea and the sea temperature at the Kola section during the year of spawning. However, analysis of the most recent data indicates that this relationship no longer holds. This change in the recruitment dynamics will clearly have an impact on our understanding of future stock dynamics and long-term yield. It also highlights the impacts arising from possible future changes in similar relationships in other species and ecosystems on our ability to predict biological responses to climate change arising. This article uses a ‘STOCOBAR’ forward simulation model to evaluate North East Arctic cod dynamics under a variety of climate scenarios and recruitment hypotheses, presenting the differences in modelled spawning stock biomass under temperature-dependent and -independent recruitment situations. The divergence between the modelled populations (and hence yields) under the different recruitment hypotheses indicates the high difficulty of predicting the future development of a stock with any degree of certainty, or even with any quantifiable degree of uncertainty. These results highlight the importance of having a management regime that is robust to unpredicted and unpredictable changes in stock dynamics, and the need for management strategy evaluations under a wide range of possible future scenarios.

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