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Science Response 2016/019

Northwest Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Stock Status Update Report


Campana et al. (2007) presented an overview of all available information on the stock structure, migration patterns, abundance trends and status of the Canadian portion of the Atlantic Spiny Dogfish population. During the 2010 Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) Spiny Dogfish Benchmark and Assessment meeting (TRAC 2010), Canada and the United States (US) failed to reach an agreement on a population model for the Northwest Atlantic Spiny Dogfish and subsequently proceeded to independently develop Spiny Dogfish stock and population models.  Following the 2010 TRAC meeting, Canada developed a forward-projecting stage-based, spatially explicit population dynamics model, which was accepted as a DFO framework model and is used in the current update. The stage-based model was also used to estimate the likely consequences of various exploitation scenarios on stock status, which provided a foundation for deriving reference points for Spiny Dogfish.

Since a formal data sharing agreement does not currently exist between Canada and the US, attempts to update the population status of dogfish were compromised by difficulties in obtaining US data inputs. In 2014, an assessment was conducted by creating proxies for 2011-2013 US data from summary statistics in US assessments (Fowler and Campana 2015). This required a number of assumptions about population and catch compositions related to sex and maturity stage.  For this update, US survey data and incomplete US catch composition data were obtained.

The objective of this science response is to review and evaluate fishery landings from previous years, provide research vessel survey biomass and length composition, and describe biomass and exploitation in relation to adopted reference points.

This Science Response Report results from the Science Response Process of December 4, 2015, on the Stock Status Update of Dogfish in Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Fishing Areas 4VWX5.

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