Impact of egg production and stock structure on MSY reference points and its management implications for southern hake (Merluccius merluccius)

Type Article
Date 2013-02
Language English
Author(s) Cervino Santiago1, Dominguez-Petit Rosario2, Jardim Ernesto3, 5, Mehault Sonia4, Pineiro Carmen1, Saborido-Rey Fran2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ctr Oceanog Vigo, Inst Espafiol Oceanog, Vigo 36200, Spain.
2 : CSIC, Inst Marine Res, Vigo 36208, Spain.
3 : Inst Invest Pescas & Mar IPIMAR, Lisbon, Portugal.
4 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer IFREMER, Lorient, France.
5 : European Commiss, Joint Res Ctr, Inst Protect & Secur Citizen, Maritime Affairs Unit G 04, I-21027 Ispra, VA, Italy.
Source Fisheries Research (0165-7836) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2013-02 , Vol. 138 , P. 168-178
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2012.07.016
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) Egg production, Biological reference points, Steepness, Length based models, Hake
Abstract Spawning stock biomass (SSB) is one of the most common measures of stock status. However recent research on reproductive potential has shown that alternative variables may be an improvement over SSB. In the case of European hake (Merluccius merluccius), it is known that large individuals produce more eggs by unit of body weight, and their quality is better than those of small individuals. Under these circumstances, application of reproductive potential may be pertinent in the implementation of the Johannesburg agreement, since it is not only the spawning biomass but also its age or length structure that defines stock productivity and its ability to achieve maximum sustainable yield (MSY). In this contribution we used an age-length structured population model to assess the impact of different reproductive indices (total spawning biomass, female spawning biomass and egg production) on MSY reference points. First, we analyzed how these different indices alter our perception about per recruit productivity. Second, we analyzed the quality of these alternative reproductive indices to explain and predict recruitment using different model structures (Ricker and Beverton-Holt) and Bayesian inference. Third, we combined per recruit models and stochastic stock-recruitment relationships to estimate the probability distributions of MSY biological reference points (MSY, 'F-msy, Stock(msy), and F ash). Our results show that, for hake stocks where larger fish have a strong contribution to stock reproductive potential, use of alternative reproductive indices will affect estimations of stock sustainability. The change in perception of relative contribution of each length class is exhibited in two opposite ways: reproductive potential per recruit and the shape of the stock-recruitment relationship defined with steepness. In our case, the change from SSB to egg production, resulted in an increase in steepness which counteracted the depletion per recruit resulting in a larger F-msy.
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Cervino Santiago, Dominguez-Petit Rosario, Jardim Ernesto, Mehault Sonia, Pineiro Carmen, Saborido-Rey Fran (2013). Impact of egg production and stock structure on MSY reference points and its management implications for southern hake (Merluccius merluccius). Fisheries Research, 138, 168-178. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :