Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4514
Title: Bayesian approach to the estimation of length-weight relationships in fishes
Author: Rainer Froese, James T. Thorson, Rodolfo Reyes
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Journal of Applied Ichthyology
Volume: 30
Issue: 1
Pages: 78-85
DOI: 10.1111/jai.12299
Keywords: Length-weight relationships and data,Bayesian statistics,ichthyology,data-poor species,FishBase

 We present a Bayesian hierarchical approach to the estimation length-weight relationships (LWR) in fishes. In particular, we established prior estimates for the LWR parameters a and b in general and by body shape. We use these priors and existing LWR studies to derive species-specific LWR parameters. In the case of data-poor species, we included LWR studies of closely related species with the same body shape. This approach yielded LWR parameter estimates with measure of uncertainty for practically all 32,000 species of fishes. We show how these estimates can inform the analysis of new weight-at-length data. We present a large LWR data set, source code of the respective analyses, and ready-to use tools for practitioners.

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Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Characterize vital rates and other demographic parameters for key species, and develop and improve methods for predicting risk and viability/sustainability from population dynamics and demographic information.