Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 1125
Title: Population dynamics of splitnose rockfish (Sebastes diploproa) in the Northeast Pacific Ocean
Author: V. V. Gertseva, J. M. Cope
Publication Year: 2011
Journal: Ecological Modelling
Volume: 222
Pages: 973-981
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.12.003
Keywords: Splitnose rockfish, Northeast Pacific Ocean, population dynamics, Stock Synthesis
Abstract: We developed an age-structured population model of splitnose rockfish, Sebastes diploproa, in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. Splitnose rockfish is a bycatch species that co-occurs with several commercially important species that are currently declared overfished. Bycatch species are typically not the focus of stock assessment efforts because of their limited economic importance, but they may suffer the same population declines as species with which they co-occur. To examine the dynamics of splitnose rockfish for the first time, we analyzed data from three groundfish fisheries and four research surveys conducted in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. To develop a model, we used Stock Synthesis, a statistical framework for the construction of a population dynamics models utilizing both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data. In the model, we reconstructed the total catch of the species back to 1900, estimated the dynamics of the stock spawning output and recruitment and evaluated biomass depletion relative to the stocks unfished state, as well as sources of uncertainty in model outputs. The results indicate that the splitnose rockfish is currently not overfished even though it has experienced several periods of abrupt decline in its biomass. Revisiting age data from earlier years, monitoring fishery discard, and investigating the spatial dynamics of splitnose rockfish is important to further improve the understanding of this species population dynamics, and decrease uncertainty in model results.