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Science Response 2022/020

A data synopsis for British Columbia groundfish: 2021 data update


The combination of fishery-dependent data, such as catch and effort, and fishery-independent survey data, such as biomass indices and age compositions, form the backbone of most fisheries stock assessments. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) manages vast quantities of such data on groundfish species in British Columbia (BC). However, formal stock assessments are not conducted on an annual basis for most stocks, and so much of these data are not summarized to represent the nature of the data holdings.

The groundfish data synopsis report was developed to provide a snapshot of long-term and recent population and fishing trends, as well as data availability, for all major BC groundfish species of commercial and conservation interest (Anderson et al. 2019, Anderson et al. 2020). The report was published as a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Research Document (Anderson et al. 2019) to facilitate review of the methods, with the intent to update the report on a regular schedule. The usefulness of the report depends on its data remaining up-to-date. Since the initial 2019 report, three new years of survey and commercial data have become available, as well as updated stock assessment Research Documents, Science Advisory Reports, and Science Responses.

DFO Science Branch has requested an update to the groundfish data synopsis report including all commercial and survey data available up to the end of 2021. The advice arising from this CSAS Science Response will provide an overview of available groundfish data and fishing and population trends to inform DFO Science and Fisheries Management staff in stock monitoring and prioritization. This update applies the previously peer-reviewed approach to generate up-to- date figures representing data such as biomass indices, commercial catch, species distribution, and age and length composition data for the 113 species.

This Science Response results from the Science Response Process of March 29, 2022 on A data synopsis for British Columbia groundfish: 2021 update.

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