2006 Review of Summer Flounder Biological Reference Points

NMFS Office of Science and Technology

In September 2006, the NOAA Fisheries Service Office of Science & Technology convened an additional review of biological reference points for summer flounder to ensure that the 2007 quota for the fishery is based on the best possible information. Reviewers met in mid-September, and reported their findings at the end of that month.

The review made no change in the current status of the summer flounder stock. It is not overfished, but only about half-way to its rebuilt size. The review confirmed that fishing rates must be substantially lowered in the next few years to provide at least a 50% chance of rebuilding by 2010.

The reviewers recommended several adjustments in the assessment. The most important of these are that the stock condition be assessed using spawning stock biomass, rather than total stock biomass as in the past; and several changes in how the weight of fish not yet Age 1 are measured and incorporated into the total picture for the population.

These revisions result in a fishing rate that ends overfishing and rebuilds the stock by 2010 that is higher (F=0.15) than the one calculated in the 2006 assessment (F=0.099)

The review also acknowledges retrospective patterns in the assessment. For the most recent year(s), the assessment consistently underestimates F by 34% (thus overfishing appears to have continued), and overestimates the biomass (by 12%) and recruitment (by 4%). The reviewers made no recommendation on how to adjust the analysis for this pattern, but note that it should be taken into account when setting management targets.

Using the revised estimate for a fishing rate (F=0.15) that will provide an adequate rate of rebuilding by 2010, a 2007 quota of 12.983 million pounds has a 75% probability of achieving that rate, and a quota of 14.156 million pounds, a 50% probability of doing so.

Review

Summer Flounder Biological Reference Point Update for 2006

September 14-15, 2006, 8:30 AM.
Stephen Clark Conference Room
NEFSC, 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA 02543

Reviewers

Review Documents

Background documents

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