Stock Assessments in an Ecosystem Context

Wednesday, August 20, 2014: 1:30 PM
301A (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Jason S. Link , NOAA Fisheries, Woods Hole, MA
There has been a long history of population ecology incorporating environmental and community ecological considerations.  The current norm for most models of population ecology, when applied in a fisheries management context, is to assess the status of fish stocks while largely omitting such “ecosystem considerations” or assume such considerations are captured implicitly in model parameters.  I provide several examples where such models have directly and explicitly incorporated such ecosystem considerations, with positive benefits.  I also describe a simple decision-tree for when such considerations might want to be incorporated into stock assessments and when they would not merit inclusion.  Yet equally important is using population ecology to inform fish community and ecosystem dynamics.  I discuss instances where this has been done, particularly how outputs from populations models have been combined to produce indicators for multispecies and ecosystem assessments.  Exploring theory on the nexus between population and community ecology is a ripe area for further expansion, with numerous practical applications.