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Status of Stocks & Multispecies Assessment

11th National Stock Assessment Workshop

The National Marine Fisheries Service held the 11th National Stock Assessment Workshop (NSAW), 17-20 May, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The NSAW was held in conjunction with the first National Habitat Assessment Workshop (NHAW), 18-20 May at the same location. A joint session of the NSAW and NHAW workshops was held 18-19 May with the theme of "Incorporating Habitat Information in Stock Assessments."

Sandra Lowe of the Status of Stocks and Multispecies Assessments (SSMA) Program represented the AFSC on the NSAW Steering Committee. The theme of the 11th NSAW was "Improving Characterization of Scientific Uncertainty in Assessments to Improve Determination of Acceptable Biological Catches (ABCs)." The objective of this year's NSAW was the advancement of stock assessment methods to improve determination of the level of acceptable biological catch (ABC).

The National Standard 1 Guidelines highlight the need for improved assessment and forecasting methods so that ABC can be set with a known and acceptable probability of overfishing. Where feasible, these methods should take into account the effect of ecosystem and environmental factors on fish stocks. Where data-rich methods cannot be applied, suitable approaches need to be developed to provide guidance for ABC specifications.

Several SSMA staff attended the workshop and gave presentations. Anne Hollowed, Susanne McDermott, Grant Thompson, Paul Spencer, and Jack Turnock gave oral presentations. Sandra Lowe presented a poster and moderated a session on developing a comprehensive approach for characterizing uncertainty.

Their respective abstracts follow.

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