Strategic Initiative on Stock Assessment Methods



The Strategic Initiative for Stock Assessment Methods (SISAM) is designed to ensure that scientists can apply the best stock assessment methods when developing management advice for fisheries management.

​​​​​It is hoped that the initiative will benefit the entire international fishery science community. The initiative will contribute to the improved application of assessment methods, but it must be recognized that "best methods" is not a static definition. Rather, the set of available methods will continue to evolve and improve in response to lessons learned in their current application. The initiative needs to do more than define the current state-of-the-science, it should help chart the future course of this scientific enterprise. Long-term success in application of the best methods is an iterative, multi-step process. These steps should involve:

  1. identification of the current set of available methods;
  2. guidance in the selection of the most appropriate methods for a particular application;
  3. education and access to expert information regarding method usage;
  4. encouragement for further testing and development of methods to more closely align with particular management needs.

The World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods (WCSAM) is part of the initiative's approach to accomplish these steps. The initiative will also produce a technical report, develop a categorization scheme for stock assessment methods (see link) and review methods used around the world. The initiative will seek to encompass approaches that range from quantitative procedures applicable in data-poor situations, through tactical assessment approaches that typify assessment advice today, to multi-species and environmentally-linked models that are at the forefront of research today.

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