A Bayesian population model to estimate changes in the stock size in data poor cases using Mediterranean bogue (Boops boops) and picarel (Spicara smaris) as an example
TSIKLIRAS, A. C.
STERGIOU, K. I.
The paper presents an effort to build a biologically realistic, age structured Bayesian model for the stock assessment of data poor fisheries where only aggregated catch data is available. The model is built using prior information from other areas and ecologically or taxonomically similar species. The modeling approach is tested with data poor fisheries on the Cyclades islands in Greek archipelago. The two most important species in the area are selected: bogue (Boops boops) and picarel (Spicara smaris). Both are hermaphroditic. The only data available is the total catch from 1950 to 2010. Information was gathered about natural mortality, recruitment, growth, body size, fecundity, and sex ratio. There were significant problems in finding reliable prior information and a uniform prior was used for fishing mortality. The models at their present stage are not used to give management advice. The biological characteristics of the species in that area should be further studied. However, the posteriors of biological parameters reflect the best available knowledge on these species and they could be used in future studies or in simpler biomass dynamics models as priors.