Training courses

Introduction to Integrated Stock Assessment Using Stock Synthesis (SS3)

7–11 October 2024
ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark
In-person participation
Application deadline: 26 August 2024



This course will cover fisheries stock assessment principles and instruction on using the Stock Synthesis (SS3) modelling platform. The course will include theoretical and practical sessions, during which students will apply the model to datasets provided by the instructors. Time will also be allocated for students to apply SS3 to their own data set.

Course Outline

  • Fundamental principles of stock assessment
  • Using the concept of Integrated Analysis (IA) as implemented in SS3 to build simple to complex models using different types of data
  • Diagnosing, interpreting, and communicating stock assessment results
  • Characterizing model uncertainty
Overview of Basic Features
  • Catch and fishing mortality
  • Surveys and catchability
  • Biological composition and selectivity
  • Natural mortality, growth, and reproduction options
  • Recruitment and spawner-recruit relationships
Examples in SS3
  • Length-only models
  • Catch only models
  • Age-structured production model
  • Catch and length models
  • Multiple data type integrated models
Running and using outputs of SS3
  • SS3 resource materials
  • Using the Stock Assessment Continuum Tool (a Shiny application) to build SS3 models
  • Key model files and how to change them
  • Using r4ss
  • Diagnosing model fit
  • Model assumptions
  • Data-weighting
  • Forecasts and control rules
  • Parameters and priors
  • Understanding results, including MSY and other reference points

Participants should have an interest in population dynamics, fisheries biology, quantitative data analysis, and stock assessment. Familiarity with the R programming language and RStudio is a benefit.  

Application deadline 26 August 2024

Your place on this course will be confirmed after 26 August. Do not make travel bookings until your place on the course in confirmed.

ICES Headquarters

H.C. Andersens Boulevard, 44-46

1553 Copenhagen V 


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Course Instructors:

Jason Cope, NOAA, USA
Mauricio Mardones, Spanish Oceanography Institute (Instituto Español de Oceanografía, IEO), Spain​

950 EUR (for ICES member country affiliated participants​)
1550 EUR (for non-member country affiliated participants)
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Introduction to Integrated Stock Assessment Using Stock Synthesis (SS3)

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
ICES Secretariat · H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, DK 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark · Tel: +45 3338 6700 · Fax: +45 3393 4215 ·
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