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Proceedings 2012/023

Proceedings of the Gulf Region Science Peer Review Framework Meeting of Assessment Methods for the Snow Crab Stock of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence; November 21 to 25, 2011

Chairperson: J.-C. Brêthes


A regional science peer review meeting was held November 21 to 25, 2011 in Moncton (New Brunswick). The framework review meeting was convened in response to challenges from some sectors of the fishing industry regarding the assessment methods and analyses. In keeping with the DFO science objective of providing robust and scientifically defensible advice, a framework peer review meeting was conducted to review and develop recommendations for the assessment methods and analytical approaches to be used to assess the status of the snow crab stock of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The following assessment methodology questions were examined: 1) review of current sampling design, the estimation model and approach to estimate the biomass of commercial-sized male crab from the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, 2) review of the definition of the polygon for which the biomass will be estimated, 3) review of the methods for reconstructing a homogenous time series of biomasses and abundances from 1989 to present, and 4) review of the best approach to estimate and include uncertainty of the biomass estimates within the four management areas based on a survey designed to estimate biomass for the entire southern Gulf. Participants at the science review included DFO Science Branch personnel from five DFO regions (Gulf, Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ottawa), DFO Fisheries Management, invited external experts from universities, expertise from the US, from aboriginal organizations, and the fishing industry. The framework meeting did not generate fisheries management advice. This document describes the recommended approaches for the best treatment of data currently collected, best treatment for historical reconstruction, and recommendations for improvements to the design and assessment methods.

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