Evaluation of a class of possible simple interim management procedures for the Namibian hake fishery
AbstractDuring 1997, considerable scientific differences arose about the status of the Namibian hake (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) resource, and as to whether the hake Total Allowable Catch (TAC) should be substantially decreased or increased. These differences revolved primarily around whether or not abundance estimates from the swept-area trawl surveys by the Norwegian research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen should be considered as reliable measures of biomass in absolute (as distinct from relative) terms. The paper relates the computations underlying the Interim Management Procedure (IMP) approach that was put forward at that time as a basis to resolve this impasse. The anticipated performance, in terms of catch and risk of resource depletion, of a number of simple candidate IMPs for the Namibian hake resource is evaluated. The IMPs depend on two parameters, whose values are to be chosen by decision-makers, and adjust the TAC up or down from one year to the next according to whether trends in recent commercial catch rate and survey indices of abundance are positive or negative. Performances are evaluated across the then current wide range argued for resource abundance and status. Trade-offs in performance across the candidates considered are discussed. One of the candidates was subsequently selected by a joint meeting of scientists, industry and Ministry officials in February 1998 and served as the basis for scientific recommendations for the TAC for the hake resource for the following three years.
Keywords: abundance, Cape hake, Management Procedure, Namibia, performance, surveys, trade-off
African Journal of Marine Science 2001, 23: 357–374