Protection & Restoration of Ecosystem Services
FATE Proposal: Incorporating an environmental index into the Southern New England Mid Atlantic yellowtail flounder stock assessment with potential predictability
Overview and Objectives
Southern New England-Atlantic (SNEMA) yellowtail flounder comprised one of the most important groundfish fisheries in the northeast United States. High fishing pressure, particularly during the 1960s through the 1970s, reduced the abundance of SNEMA yellowtail flounder significantly. Since 1992, strict regulations have been put in place along with closed areas, but the stock has not recovered in twenty years and recruitment has remained low in recent years. The low recruitment trend over the last twenty years is a major source of uncertainty in the most recent benchmark assessment of SNEMA yellowtail flounder that occurred in 2012. Therefore our objectives were to:
1. Investigate the physical linkage between changes in atmospheric indices, temperature regime, and yellowtail flounder recruitment and productivity for several years after a fluctuation in the Azores High pressure.
2. Develop predictive relationships between environmental indices and recruitment and spawning stock biomass (SSB), and assess the skill of such a prediction scheme.
3. Incorporate the environmental indicator into the stock assessment in one of three ways.
Xu H, Kim H-M, Nye JA, Hameed S (2015) Impacts of the North Atlantic Oscillation on sea surface temperature on the Northeast US Continental Shelf. Continental Shelf Research 105:60-66
Xu, H., T. J. Miller, S. Hameed, L. A. Alade, and J. A. Nye. (to be submitted August 2016, Fisheries Oceanography). Evaluating model fit and forecast performance after incorporating the Gulf Stream Index into Southern New England yellowtail flounder state-space age-structured assessment model.
Hameed, Sultan, Haikun Xu, and Janet A. Nye. “Comparison of the impact of atmospheric heat fluxes and ocean transport on sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf.” (in preparation)
Xu, Haikun, Hye-Mi Kim, Janet A. Nye, and Sultan Hameed. “Impacts of the North Atlantic Oscillation on sea surface temperature on the Northeast US Continental Shelf.” Ocean Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, LA (poster)