Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Ices Journal Of Marine Science
Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires tools to place fish-stock dynamics in the broader context of fishery, predator, and competitive removals. Multispecies virtual population analysis (MSVPA) is an approach to quantifying predator prey interactions and estimating the rates of predation mortality for exploited fish populations. Here, an extended MSVPA (MSVPA-X) is presented as an alternative to existing MSVPA approaches. Notably, MSVPA-X uses index-tuned VPA methods, applies a more flexible feeding model, and includes an alternative functional feeding response. The MSVPA-X model is applied to a western Atlantic fish community, focusing on Atlantic menhaden and its major fish predators, and a sensitivity analysis of major model parameters is presented. The sensitivity analysis highlights the need for adequate diet sampling. The MSVPA-X represents an improvement over previous approaches by increasing the flexibility to model seasonal and interannual dynamics in the strength of predator - prey interactions. Model results demonstrate that, for menhaden in particular, and forage fish in general, quantifying predation mortality is an important part of effective assessments of forage fish, their predators, and the fisheries of both.
Virtual Population Analysis; Eastern Bering-Sea; Striped Bass; Pomatomus-Saltatrix; Continental-Shelf; Atlantic Menhaden; Multispecies Vpa; Reference Points; Chesapeake Bay; North-Sea
Garrison, LP; Link, JS; Kilduff, DP; Cieri, MD; Maffley, B; Latour, RJ; and Et al., An expansion of the MSVPA approach for quantifying predator-prey interactions in exploited fish communities (2010). Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 67(5), 856-870.