The first ICES course of the year, centres on the ICES fish stocks for which data and knowledge are insufficient to conduct a full analytical assessment of their state and exploitation. Known as category 3 and 4 stocks, these constitute over 30% of all stocks for which ICES provides advice. Length-based and catch and survey-based methods for providing reference points for these stocks emerged in 2015, and a year later these techniques were applied in order to classify the status of a small group of stocks relative to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) reference points.
The objective of this course is to enable stock assessors and users of ICES advice to understand the underlying principles of each method, the required data and format, as well as how to run the code and interpret the results for use in ICES advice.
This practice will be expanded to all category 3 and 4 stocks in 2017, with work to be carried out by the stock assessment expert groups. Training in the methods is therefore important for the members of these groups in order to learn the principles behind each method, the data and format, and how to run the code and interpret the results for advice.
The course will convene twice: the first, a day and a half instalment at the ICES Secretariat for stock assessment group chairs; the second, a two-day online module for stock assessors.