Step 10. Interpretation

Across all three of the targets, the performance indicators were found to be under or near limit reference points. This agreeance across all of the performance indicators allows for a universal understanding that high fishing pressure in this system is negatively affecting spawning stock biomass, which implies danger of fishery collapse.

In cases like this one where a management response is required, the following actions should always be taken before adjusting harvest controls:

  • Verify data and calculations
  • Review sampling protocol, assess size structure of the population
  • Ensure that fishery independent surveys overlap with known or assumed distribution (depth and space) of population and fishing effort
  • Assess and compare results with estimates of CPUE, effort metrics, spatial distribution of effort, and previous year’s catch
  • Double check assumptions and reference points
  • If trends persist, consult with local experts
  • If trends persist, consider adjusting harvest controls and develop a recovery plan if necessary