Big Skate, big problems: unusual issues arising in the recent U.S. West Coast Big Skate stock assessment
Ian Taylor, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Tuesday June 2nd, 2:00 PM PST
Big Skate (Beringraja binoculata) on the U.S. West Coast was assessed for the first time last year by myself, Vlada Gertseva, Andi Stephens, and Joe Bizzarro. The assessment presented some interesting challenges, including near-linear growth, indices of abundance that increased when you would have expected declines, and skewed sex ratios for fish of the same size. I’ll give an overview of the unusual patterns in the data, the modeling choices made to fit them, and the exploration of ways to fill in the missing discard history and develop an informative prior for catchability. I’d also like to use this opportunity to take stock of how things went and discuss alternative modeling approaches that could have been explored.