Science Advisory Report 2011/016
Evaluation of Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) stock assessment and harvest guidelines in British Columbia
- Independent surveys conducted by the U.S and British Columbia have reported a significant decrease in sardine biomass since 2006. Comparing biomass estimates of 2006 to that of 2010, the U.S. coastwide biomass has decreased by 57% whereas the WCVI estimate from the trawl survey has decreased by 79%.
- The sardine biomass estimated from the annual summer research surveys has decreased during the past 4 years with the highest estimate in 2006 (381,617 tonnes) and lowest in 2010 (81,964 tonnes). The decrease in biomass has coincided with unusual ocean conditions which may have affected abundance and distribution.
- The incorporation of inshore areas into the current harvest control rule was determined to be an acceptable assumption. Using the U.S. coastwide biomass estimate of 537,173 tonnes and a harvest rate of 15%, the TAC for 2011 is set at 21,917 tonnes based on a migration rate estimate of 27.2%. This TAC amount represents an increase of 4,192 tonnes over using the core survey area biomass results only.
- Understanding the migration timing and extent remains a challenging issue in developing the harvest guideline and further work to investigate the importance of environmental factors, particularly temperature, should be undertaken.
This Science Advisory Report has resulted from a Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat Pacific Regional Advisory Meeting of January 18, 2011 on Assessment of Pacific Sardine. Additional publications from this process will be posted as they become available on the DFO Science Advisory Schedule.
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