To investigate the comparative reliability and consistency of some recent approaches for estimating the uncertainty attached to alternative actions for harvesting fish from natural populations, and identify those quantities of interest to management for which uncertainty can be quantified robustly. These new methods have been developed independently by workers in various countries and have not yet been subjected to comparative studies.
In response to requests from managers for advice in the form ' What is the probability that a (specified) undesirable event will occur for a range of alternate actions ?', participating scientists have been developing methods for calculating the uncertainty attached to the estimates of stock parameters and of estimates of markers of undesirable conditions : biomass, fishing mortality and reference points, both in historic analyses and also in the future under various exploitation scenarios.
This concerted action will coordinate some of the work currently underway by participants that is aimed at identifying what features of the methods for calculating uncertainty that are most important in determining the views of risk that are presented to managers by scientists. Recently developed methods will be subject to the comparative evaluation under this concerted action are listed in the following section. They will subsequently be referred to as the "candidate methods"
The purpose of the present project is to investigate whether advice currently being provided for fisheries management purposes by different workers using different methods is highly dependent on the choice of method and baseline assumptions used. If broadly similar estimates of uncertainty for some or most parameters are returned by all of the methods proposed, this would reinforce confidence in the provision of scientific advice in support of the international agreements cited above. If however for some parameters it is found that the uncertainty estimates are strongly dependent on methodological assumptions, this project will identify problematic areas in which advice on uncertainty cannot yet reliably be provided, and will establish a work plan for eventually resolving such difficulties.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions