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Incorporating an environmental stock–recruitment relationship in the assessment of Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

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The robustness of a previously described environmentally mediated stock–recruitment relationship for Pacific cod in Hecate Strait, BC, Canada was tested with 10 yr of additional data. The original analysis tested several alternative hypotheses and concluded that water transport through Hecate Strait, as indicated by sea level height, coupled with cod spawning biomass formed the best model. The present analysis indicates the relationship held through the 1990s. The implications of variation in sea level on stock production were investigated with a delay-difference stock production model that included an environmentally mediated stock–recruitment relationship. The model predicted that the maximum fishery yield would vary between 1750 and 3670 t yr−1 over the observed range of sea level height, and the estimated unsustainable fishing mortality during periods of low productivity would be only 0.5 times that in periods of high productivity.

Keywords: Pacific cod; delay-difference production model; environmental stock–recruitment relationship; stock assessment; transport

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, PO Box 6000, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, BC, Canada, V8L 4B2

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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