Research Document 2019/041

A reproducible data synopsis for over 100 species of British Columbia groundfish

By Anderson, S.C., Keppel, E.A., Edwards, A.M.

Abstract

The combination of fishery-dependent data, such as catch and effort, and fishery-independent survey data, such as biomass indices and age compositions, forms the backbone of most fisheries stock assessments. For British Columbia groundfish, vast quantities of such data are collected annually, with 100 % at-sea observer coverage, 100 % dockside monitoring of landings, and deployment of multiple trawl, trap, and hook-and-line surveys. However, there is not the capacity to conduct formal stock assessments for most stocks annually, and therefore, much of these data are not summarized to represent the nature of the data holdings. Here, we introduce a reproducible report to give a snapshot of population and fishing trends, growth and maturity patterns, as well as data availability, for 113 groundfish species in British Columbia. The report generation is fully automated — pulling data from databases, fitting models, generating visualizations, and stitching the document together to facilitate frequent publication, reproducibility, and transparency. Our goals are (1) to facilitate regular review by groundfish scientists and managers of trends in survey indices and stock composition; (2) to generate standardized datasets and visualizations that will help assessment scientists develop operating models and select candidate management procedures as part of a planned management-procedure framework for groundfish stocks; and (3) to increase data transparency between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the fishing industry, non-governmental organizations, and the public.

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