Resolving Hjort's Dilemma How Is Recruitment Related to Spawning Stock Biomass in Marins Fish?

Type Article
Date 2014-12
Language English
Author(s) Cury Philippe M.1, 2, Fromentin Jean-MarcORCID2, 3, Figuet Sarah1, 2, Bonhommeau SylvainORCID2, 3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Sète, France
2 : Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale, Sète, France
3 : Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (IFREMER), Sète, France
Source Oceanography (1042-8275) (The Oceanography Society), 2014-12 , Vol. 27 , N. 4 , P. 42-47
DOI 10.5670/oceanog.2014.85
WOS© Times Cited 46
Abstract The relationship between spawning fish abundance and the number of offspring, the so-called stock-recruitment relationship, is crucial for fisheries management and conservation measures. Using the most comprehensive data set ever assembled, we quantify this relationship for 211 fish stocks worldwide, revealing a global pattern with a pervasive asymptotic shape that shows increasing recruitment reaching an upper limit for values around half to two-thirds of parental biomass. This corroborates previous theoretical and modeling results. However, parental biomass is a predictor for only 5% to 15% of the variance in recruitment, demonstrating the weak predictive power of the stock-recruitment relationship in marine fish populations. Thus, there is a need to move rapidly toward models that integrate environmental conditions and species interactions in fisheries stock assessment and management, as suggested by Johan Hjort 100 years ago.
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