Benchmark Workshop on Pelagic Stocks



The WKPELA 2013 Benchmark Workshop on Pelagic Stocks was organized to evaluate the current data and assessment methodology for several stocks of pelagic fish species and to propose improvements outside of the annual assessment environment.

WKPELA 2013, which took place from 4–8 February 2013 at ICES Headquarters in Copenhagen, dealt with the following pelagic stocks: Herring in Division IIIa and Subdivisions 22–24 (Western Baltic Spring spawners), Anchovy in VIIIabd (Bay of Biscay), and Sardine in Subarea VII and Divisions VIIIa, b, d. ICES will use the results to provide advice for 2014.

The meeting was chaired by Barbara Schoute, 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 WKPELA 2013, please contact Advice



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