Evaluating Harvest Management Procedures for Spatially-structured Fish Populations

Many fish populations have spatial structure which is not explicitly recognized in assessment or management. For example, Pacific herring are managed as five discrete stocks in BC, but there is evidence of both regional and within-stock diversity that may determine the capacity of the five large stocks to sustain themselves over time. This spatial structure is maintained by movement of fish among and between sub-populations within the greater, coast-wide metapopulation. However, the degree of movement between the populations is highly uncertain and is not incorporated into the current management approach. This, the goal of this project is to develop a tool that will be used to evaluate the existing management protocols and to improve the economic and conservation performance of the herring fishery management system.

Ashleen Benson
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Sean Cox
British Columbia