Benchmark Workshop on Baltic Multispecies Assessments



WKBALT 2013 Benchmark Workshop on Baltic Multispecies Assessments was set up to evaluate the current data and assessment methodology for several Baltic Sea cod, sprat, and herring stocks and to propose improvements outside the annual assessment context.

WKBALT took place from 4 – 8 February 2013 at ICES Headquarters in Copenhagen, and the benchmark workshop dealt with the following stocks: Sprat in Subdivisions 22–32 (Baltic Sea), Cod in Subdivisions 22–24, Cod in Subdivisions 25–32, and Herring in Subdivisions 25–29 and 32 (excluding Gulf of Riga herring). ICES will use the results to provide advice for 2014.

The meeting was chaired by Anna Rindorf, and participants included experts and stakeholders from outside the ICES community to broaden the perspective and data pool in order to improve assessment quality. 

The goal of a benchmark is consensus agreement on an assessment methodology that is to be used in future update assessments. This assessment methodology can be either analytical or non-analytical, depending on, for instance, trends in an assessment or in a selected set of (survey) indicators, with or without forecasts. The result will be the ‘best available’ method that ICES advice will be based on which will be documented in a “stock annex”. Typically, a stock will be benchmarked every 3–5 years to keep pace with changing situations. 

A benchmark meeting is open to experts and stakeholders, and it is reviewed by external experts throughout the process. A benchmark process takes about five to seven months of preparation and includes a data compilation workshop and a final benchmark meeting.

If you are interested in finding out about WKBALT 2013, please contact Advice

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