Combining scientific survey and commercial catch data to map fish distribution

Developing Species Distribution Models (SDM) for marine exploited species is a major challenge in fisheries ecology. Classical modelling approaches typically rely on fish research survey data. They benefit from a standardized sampling design and a controlled catchability, but they usually occur once or twice a year and they may sample a relatively small number of spatial locations. Spatial monitoring of commercial data (based on logbooks crossed with Vessel Monitoring Systems) can provide an additional extensive data source to inform fish spatial distribution. We propose a spatial hierarchical framework integrating both data sources while accounting for preferential sampling (PS) of commercial data. From simulations, we demonstrate that PS should be accounted for in estimation when PS is actually strong. When commercial data far exceed scientific data, the later bring little information to spatial predictions in the areas sampled by commercial data, but bring information in areas with low fishing intensity and provide a validation dataset to assess the integrated model consistency. We applied the framework to three demersal species (hake, sole, and squids) in the Bay of Biscay that emphasize contrasted PS intensity and we demonstrate that the framework can account for several fleets with varying catchabilities and PS behaviours.


hierarchical model, integrated modelling, species distribution model, survey data, Template Model Builder (TMB), VMS and logbook data

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Alglave Baptiste, Rivot Etienne, Etienne Marie-Pierre, Woillez Mathieu, Thorson James T, Vermard Youen (2022). Combining scientific survey and commercial catch data to map fish distribution. Ices Journal Of Marine Science. 79 (4). 1133-1149.,

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