National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2011

Evaluating management strategies for eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) in a changing environment

Ianelli, J.N., A.B. Hollowed, A.C. Haynie, F.J. Mueter, and N.A. Bond

ICES J. Mar. Sci., 68(6), 1297–1304, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsr010 (2011)

The impacts of climate change on fish and fisheries is expected to increase the demand for more accurate stock projections and harvest strategies that are robust to shifting production regimes. To address these concerns, we evaluate the performance of fishery management control rules for eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock stock under climate change. We compared the status quo policy with six alternative management strategies under two types of recruitment pattern simulations: one that follows temperature-induced trends and the other that follows a stationary recruitment pattern similar to historical observations. A subset of 82 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate models provided temperature inputs from which an additional 100 stochastic simulated recruitments were generated to obtain the same overall recruitment variability as observed for the stationary recruitment simulations. Results indicate that status quo management with static reference points and current ecosystem considerations will result in much lower average catches and an increased likelihood of fishery closures, should reduced recruitment because of warming conditions hold. Alternative reference point calculations and control rules have similar performance under stationary recruitment relative to status quo, but may offer significant gains under the changing environmental conditions.

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