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Dragon A.-C.,Marine Ecosystems Modelling and Monitoring by Satellites | Senina I.,Marine Ecosystems Modelling and Monitoring by Satellites | Titaud O.,Marine Ecosystems Modelling and Monitoring by Satellites | Calmettes B.,Marine Ecosystems Modelling and Monitoring by Satellites | And 3 more authors.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2015

An application of the Spatial Ecosystem And POpulation DYnamics Model (SEAPODYM) is developed for the North Atlantic albacore (Thunnus alalunga) population. We investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of this species, distinguishing the influences of environment and international fishing. Incorporating historical data (1960–2008), a maximum likelihood approach allows the estimation of biological parameters (thermal and oxygen tolerance) and stock spatial distribution varying over time. Juvenile albacore are predicted in warm surface waters, whereas adults inhabit cooler and deeper waters. Positive correlations between juveniles and tropical large-scale climate indices highlight the importance of environmental drivers when estimating stock recruitment biology and spatiotemporal distribution. A methodology is proposed to use SEAPODYM outputs to estimate stock abundance and maximum sustainable yield (MSY). MSY is computed taking into account the spatial dynamics of the species and the environmental variability and is based on a mechanistic modelling of larval recruitment. MSY estimates converge towards an asymptotic value (15 997 t) of the same magnitude than standard stock assessment estimates conducted for the international tuna commission. In agreement with all assessment studies, the stock status is estimated from overfished in the 1990s to recovered in the 2000s. Our results show that the stock recovery results both from fishing actions, including total allowable catches established in the 2000s, and from the beginning of a North Atlantic Oscillation warm phase, leading to more favourable recruitment conditions. Following a parsimonious ecosystemic approach, SEAPODYM offers a faithful and spatially dynamic modelling framework that now includes direct tools for spatialized management advice and for distinction between environmental and fishing effects. © 2015, National Research Council of Canada. All rights reserved.

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