Apr 24, 2020

Spatio-temporal model reduces species misidentification bias of spawning eggs in stock assessment of spotted mackerel in the western North Pacific

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yuki KanamoriA. Takasuka

Abstract

Basing species identification on morphological characteristics sometimes results in species misidentification that can lead to bias in estimating population size. The eggs of the spotted mackerel Scomber australicus and the chub mackerel S. japonicus in the western North Pacific Ocean are generally identified based on egg diameter. Recently, the egg density of the spotted mackerel has been reported to be quite high despite its low stock abundance. One possible explanation for this phenomenon is overestimation due to the similarity in egg diameter between the two species. However, we cannot test this possibility using DNA analysis because the eggs are fixed with formalin. Therefore, we estimated the egg density of the spotted mackerel using a spatio-temporal model that incorporates the effect of the egg density of chub mackerel on the catchability of the spotted mackerel, using data on spawning eggs over 15 years. We then examined how retrospective biases in estimated stock abundance were reduced when using the index from the model. The index reduced temporal fluctuation and showed smooth patterns. In particular, the obtained index was revised downward to a considerable degree relative to the nominal index. In addition, the retr...Continue Reading

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