Trends in Redfish Sebastes spp. Abundance in the Northwest Atlantic and the Relative Importance of Fisheries and Environmental Variables
While the collapse of Atlantic cod is the most well-known and studied, other less studied species, such as redfish Sebastes spp., have experienced comparable declines. These declines have resulted in the closure of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, northern and eastern Grand Bank and Labrador Shelf redfish fisheries since the mid-1990s, while reduced quotas are in place for the Laurentian Channel. While some redfish stocks declined, other stocks with more southern ranges remained stable or showed increased biomass. These dynamics and their potential causes have not been rigorously investigated. Our objective is to determine if complex dynamics in abundance can be described using two newer approaches of time series analysis for a single species whose population units are distinctly defined. We will use these two newer types of analyses, designed for relatively short, multivariate, non-stationary time series, to analyze trends in abundance for stock units of redfish Sebastes spp. in Canadian waters of the Northwest Atlantic and will relate these trends to external factors. We believe there will be distinct differences in which factors are most significant for each population unit.