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WCSAM conference kicks off

17 Jul 2013

The World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods for Sustainable Fisheries (WCSAM) is taking place in Boston this week, and more than 200 fishery scientists are discussing fish stock assessment methods – both challenges to their development and needs for future evaluation.

“There are lots of complicated and simple models and methods available,” explains Mark Dickey-Collas, Ecosystem Professional Officer at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and one of the conference conveners. “We will discuss what the main challenges to these methods are and what they are good and not good for.”

Conference sessions will host discussions on key challenges for single-species assessments as well as considering ecosystem dynamics and structure assessment, spatial complexity, and temporal change issues.

A separate session will be dedicated to data-poor approaches. Scientists from many areas of the world are currently producing methods to assess stocks with limited data, and conference participants will investigate whether a common theme/methodology is developing within this area.

The conference is organized by a large collaboration of regional and national fishery management organizations and research institutes, and experts in tuna, tropical, temperate, freshwater and marine fisheries are taking part.