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Non-linear state space modelling of fisheries biomass dynamics by using Metropolis-Hastings within-Gibbs sampling

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State space modelling and Bayesian analysis are both active areas of applied research in fisheries stock assessment. Combining these two methodologies facilitates the fitting of state space models that may be non-linear and have non-normal errors, and hence it is particularly useful for modelling fisheries dynamics. Here, this approach is demonstrated by fitting a non-linear surplus production model to data on South Atlantic albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga). The state space approach allows for random variability in both the data (the measurement of relative biomass) and in annual biomass dynamics of the tuna stock. Sampling from the joint posterior distribution of the unobservables was achieved by using Metropolis-Hastings within-Gibbs sampling.

Keywords: Bayesian analysis; Fish stock assessment; Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling; Non-linear state space models; Surplus production models; Tuna

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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