When are model-based stock assessments rejected for use in management and what happens then?

André E. Punt, Geoffrey N. Tuck, Jemery Day, Cristian M. Canales, Jason M. Cope, Carryn L. de Moor, José A.A. De Oliveira, Mark Dickey-Collas, Bjarki Elvarsson, Melissa A. Haltuch, Owen S. Hamel, Allan C. Hicks, Christopher M. Legault, Patrick D. Lynch, Michael J. Wilberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Model-based stock assessments form a key component of the management advice for fish and invertebrate stocks worldwide. It is important for such assessments to be peer-reviewed and to pass scientific scrutiny before they can be used to inform management decision making. While it is desirable for management decisions to be based on quantitative assessments that use as much of the available data as possible, this is not always the case. A proposed assessment may be found to be unsatisfactory during the peer-review process (even if it utilizes all of the available data), leading to decisions being made using simpler approaches. This paper provides a synthesis across seven jurisdictions of the types of diagnostic statistics and plots that can be used to evaluate whether a proposed assessment is ‘best available science’, summarizes several cases where a proposed assessment was not accepted for use in management, and how jurisdictions are able to provide management advice when a stock assessment is ‘rejected.’ The paper concludes with recommended general practices for reducing subjectivity when deciding whether to accept an assessment and how to provide advice when a proposed assessment is rejected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105465
JournalFisheries Research
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Peer review
  • Retrospective analysis
  • Stock assessment
  • Uncertainty


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