In developing countries, growth parameters and stock assessment information for fish species important to the livelihood objectives of millions of poor people are commonly estimated using length-based methods. However, studies indicate that outputs from such methods are inappropriate for long-lived, slow growing species, at least, leading to poor management performance, and potentially unsustainable resource use.
This project identified whether length-based estimation methods are appropriate for reef species with different life history strategies; does their use result in suitable management decisions? Do alternative age-based assessment methods result in improved management for all reef species, or merely those with particular life history strategies?
The results have highlighted that faster growing reef species should also be aged using fully aged-based methods. The improved management and stock assessment of a wider range of species should lead to more efficient resource use, and thus affect the sustainability of exploitation by artisanal fishers. In turn this should benefit poorer people within fishing communities.