Task 4.1: Incorporation of process information into management evaluation tools

Activities in this task can be divided into two broad categories, (1) organisation and technical facilitation and (2) synthesis of information for each stock or case study.

Organizational and technical activities include:

  1. Training - A full-time modeller will be appointed to work on this sub-task using R-software package and FEMS. The WP-lead team will also assemble/provide additional software documentation, including that prepared within other EU-funded projects.
  2. Technical requirements - a summary document will be prepared describing the basic elements that comprise FEMS. It will provide guidance with regard to the technical requirements for input to FEMS. Consequently, this will ensure that the input from other WPs will be broadly compatible with these input specifications. This document will be distributed early within the first year so that project participants are aware of critical technical considerations.
  3. Scoping - this activity will commence at the opening plenary meeting for the project. The strategic Level 1 questions to be addressed by FEMS will be identified on the basis of current policy objectives and current levels of stock depletion. The strategic questions will be expressed as a series of contrasting scenarios. A document will be prepared at the conclusion of this meeting summarising the strategic questions, the current status of knowledge, the information requirements, and the priority for evaluation.
  4. Sourcing - immediately following the opening plenary meeting data, information and models will be identified that can be incorporated directly into the FEMS for each of the strategic questions.
  5. Documentation- for each strategic Level 1 question, a standardised form will be completed, thereby ensuring that the technical specifications of each are clearly documented and described in a consistent fashion. An inventory of completed forms, as well as relevant source-code in the R software language will be maintained on the project website.
  6. Progress meeting - the team members working within WP4.1 will meet during the second year to review progress and problems that have been encountered. Where possible, members of the EFIMAS and COMMIT projects will also be consulted.

The synthesis of information (in collaboration with task 4.2) will include:

  1. Characterising missing data - missing input data that are considered essential to answering strategic questions will be identified at the outset to allocate working effort, where necessary, to address this. In some instances more complicated process-based models (e.g., WP3) will be used, since such methods are able to derive parameters assuming overall consistency in the assembled data sources. Bootstrapping from existing databases could also be used to generate missing values.
  2. A common format for direct input into FEMS - each stock-recovery evaluation will require a distinct modelling framework, tailored to the specific question, stock and region. This will include an operating-model representing the true dynamics of the population and the 'true' removals taken by the fishery, an observation-error model and a model representing management control procedures. A wide range of stock-assessment methodologies (e.g. XSA, VPA, ICA, SURBA, CSA) can be used because modules for most assessment methodologies are already available as R-software source code. This collected information must then be synthesized into a complete package or “module??? that can then be taken forward into WP4.2. These modules form discrete deliverables for each stock-recovery evaluation that is undertaken to address the Level 1 questions identified in step 3 of this task (Scoping).

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