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Research Document - 2012/047

An Evaluation of Reference Points and Risk of the Scotian Shelf and Southern Grand Banks Atlantic Halibut Stock

By M.K. Trzcinski and R.K. Mohn


Reference points were calculated at the last assessment, but projections were not made nor the risk of either exceeding a reference fishing level (Fref) causing harm to the productivity of the stock, or of under exploitation leading to economic loss. Here we re-evaluate the reference points, project the population to 2014 and calculate the risk associated over a range of catch levels. Based on model projections, the 3NOPs4VWX5Zc Atlantic halibut is in a productive period due to high recruitment. In a comparison of BMSY and FMSY generated using a Beverton-Holt stock-recruit model versus a Ricker model, BMSY and FMSY differed by a factor of two, demonstrating the sensitivity to model assumptions. The 2012 population spawning stock biomass is projected to be above BMSY regardless of which stock-recruit model is used. 

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