Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4602
Title: Bootstrapping of sample sizes for length- or age-composition data used in stock assessments
Author: Ian J. Stewart, O. S. Hamel
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 71
Issue: 4
Pages: 581-588
Keywords: effective sample size, bootstrap, stock assessment, multinomial, survey data,
Abstract:

Integrated stock assessment models derive estimates of management quantities by fitting to indices of abundance and length and age compositions. For composition data, where a multinomial likelihood is often applied, weights are determined by input sample sizes, which can be an important contributor to model results.  We used a generic bootstrap method, verified through simulation, to calculate year-specific maximum realized sample sizes from the observation error inherent in fishery biological data. Applying this method to length-composition observations for 47 groundfish species collected during a standardized trawl survey, we found maximum realized sample size to be related to both the number of hauls and individual fish sampled from those hauls. Sampling in excess of 20 fish from each haul produced little increase in most cases, with maximum realized sample size ranging from approximately 2-4 per haul sampled. Utilizing these maximum realized sample sizes as input values for stock assessment (analogous to minimum variance estimates), appropriately incorporates interannual variability, and may reduce over-emphasis on composition data. Results from this method can also help determine sampling targets.