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A simulation study to evaluate impacts of uncertainty on the assessment of American lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine
Chen, Y.; Wilson, C. (2002). A simulation study to evaluate impacts of uncertainty on the assessment of American lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 59(8): 1394-1403
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Fishing mortality; Lobster fisheries; Marine crustaceans; Homarus americanus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 [WoRMS]; ANW, USA, Maine Gulf [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Chen, Y.
  • Wilson, C.

Abstract
    The status of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) has been assessed for the last two decades by comparing an estimated current fishing mortality rate for females (Fcur) with a deterministically estimated biological reference point, F10%. The most recent assessment determined that GOM had exceeded the F10% for every year calculated, although in this time landings and abundance have doubled. The current policy does not consider uncertainty in the assessment. This study evaluates the impacts of uncertainty in F10% and Fcur on the status assessment of lobster fishery. Using a Monte Carlo simulation approach, we found that the status assessment would be influenced by uncertainties in estimating F10% and Fcur, and by the choice of decision confidence level reflecting the level of risk managers would like to take. A large uncertainty in Fcur and F10% and a high decision confidence level reduce the likelihood of defining the stock as overfished, and vice versa. Our results suggest that the probability of lobster overfishing may be less than previously thought, and that uncertainty in Fcur and F10% should be quantified and considered in determining the status of the GOM lobster stock.

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