Evaluation of the robustness of maximum sustainable yield based management strategies to variations in carrying capacity or migration pattern of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

Laurence T Kell, Jean-Marc Fromentin
2007 Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences  
In this study, we examine the performances of current stock assessment methods with respect to their ability to (i) provide estimates of maximum sustainable yield (MSY), F MSY , and B MSY and (ii) assess stock status and exploitation level relative to MSY targets. The robustness of the current International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) management strategy is then evaluated with respect to uncertainty about the true population dynamics and contrasted with a simpler
more » ... nagement strategy based solely on a size limit. Reference points are more robust to dynamic uncertainty than the estimates of absolute values and trends in F and spawning stock biomass. However, their performances depend on the underlying dynamics (they perform better when fluctuations come from changes in the carrying capacity than migration) and on when they are implemented relative to the intrinsic cycle of the population. Reference points based on F were less biased and more precise than those based on biomass and (or) yield. Although F 0.1 appeared to be the best proxy for F MSY , it cannot indicate past and current levels of exploitation relative to F MSY when there is uncertainty about the dynamics. Finally, the F 0.1 management strategy of ICCAT performed only slightly better than a simpler strategy based on size limit and led to lower catch levels. Résumé : Dans cette étude, nous testons les performances des méthodes d'évaluation des stocks courantes au regard : (i) de leur capacité à fournir de bonnes estimations de la production maximale equilibrée (PME), F PME et B PME et (ii) d'évaluer l'état du stock et le niveau d'exploitation par rapport à ces points de
doi:10.1139/f07-051 fatcat:c5xr423q2bbmjpqvum2ia3ccm4