Underpinning all fisheries management is an assessment of the status of the target stock in relation to one or more benchmarks or biological reference points to support effective decision making. Methods used to estimate stock status vary considerably and depend on the quality and quantity of data available. Appropriate data collection and management through an effective survey design is therefore an important pre-requisite to resource assessment.
Where data is limited, risk assessment techniques can be used based on qualitative or semi-quantitative information leading to more sophisticated data-rich methods such as biomass dynamic, statistical catch at age models and acoustic echo-integration, for example.
MRAG can provide a wide range of services, providing expert advice and practical implementation of conducting stock assessments. Our core in-house team of experts provide a multi-disciplinary approach to provide a comprehensive and integrated resource assessment.
We have undertaken assessments on a diverse range of both marine and freshwater living resources including fish, crustacean and molluscan species. These include assessments of complex multi-species, multi-gear artisanal fisheries typically with over 10,000 small vessels and other highly mechanised industrial single-species fisheries where catches may exceed 750,000 tonnes.
Our broad level of experience in resource assessment and fisheries management also compliments our experience on bycatch assessments, biodiversity surveys and environmental impact assessments. Combined, these have strengthened our ability to provide specialist advice on ecosystem-based fisheries management.