Virginia Institute of Marine Science
In stock assessments, recruitment is typically modeled as a function of females only. For protogynous stocks, however, disproportionate fishing on males increases the possibility of reduced fertilization rates. To incorporate the importance of males in protogynous stocks, assessment models have been used to predict recruitment not just from female spawning biomass (S-f), but also from that of males (S-m) or both sexes (S-b). We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the ability of these three measures to estimate biological reference points used in fishery management. Of the three, S-f provides best estimates if the potential for decreased fertilization is weak, whereas Sm is best only if the potential is very strong. In general, S-b estimates the true reference points most closely, which indicates that if the potential for decreased fertilization is moderate or unknown, S-b should be used in assessments of protogynous stocks. Moreover, for a broad range of scenarios, relative errors from S-f and S-b occur in opposite directions, indicating that estimates from these measures could be used to bound uncertainty.
Brooks, EN; Shertzer, KW; Gedamke, T; and Vaughan, DS, Stock assessment of protogynous fish: evaluating measures of spawning biomass used to estimate biological reference points (2008). Fisheries Bulletin, 106(1), 12-23.