EFFECTS OF ASSESSMENT FREQUENCY AND DATA-MANAGEMENT LAG ON FISHERY MANAGMEMENT PERFORMANCE: STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
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Some challenges of using stock assessments in management decisions are data availability and the allocation of resources to conduct stock assessments in a frequent and timely manner. We conducted a simulation evaluation that included the population dynamics, stock assessment, and management. Our objectives were to 1) determine effects of assessment interval and data-management lag and 2) test methods to reduce data lag by using partial data in the last year of the assessment. We found that increasing assessment interval and data-management lag caused a decrease in average catch and biomass across scenarios, with data-management lag having a larger effect compared to assessment interval. To reduce the effects of data-management lag, lag reduction methods that included some information about the age-composition of the catch and survey performed about as well as not having lag. Stock assessment interval, data-management lag and lag reduction methods should be considered when designing fishery management plans.