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AFSC Staff Contribute to Stock Assessment Workshop

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BOBLME participants
Participants at the BOBLME stock assessment workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Through multi-agency collaboration and a long NOAA commitment to the Large Marine Ecosystem program (, AFSC scientist, Dr. James Ianelli was invited to help conduct a week-long stock assessment course for the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) program with support from the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Over 30 participants from many countries including Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Maldives, Malaysia, and Thailand took part, and each analyst brought with them datasets to help with hands-on fisheries issues.

The workshop was organized to be about one third lectures, one third hands-on practice assignments based from the lectures, and one third focusing on current data and issues faced by participants. One of the objectives of this course was to understand basic concepts of population dynamics models and how they can relate to management practices.

A major part of the course was designed to introduce computational tools to evaluate and understand how to collect and analyze data for ecological and environmental studies. The activities focused on developing advanced data-processing and modeling skills using spreadsheets and some rudimentary scripting within the R programming environment.

A wide variety of species and settings were brought forward by participants—from industrial tuna longline data to spiny lobster to small scale (but in aggregate large volume) coastal fisheries. Other instructors included an expert from the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (Mahé, Seychelles) and one from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

Participants benefitted from having access to all presentations and examples electronically in real time and the web site developed for the short-course remains available for their reference.

By James Ianelli

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