Projects to be initiated, given grants from the NRC:
BIAS: The objective of this project is to develop a framework for (i) quantitative estimation of bycatch for commercial as well as non-commercial species, through coherent integration of diverse data sources (ii) assessing the contribution of bycatch to total fishing mortality, and (iii) evaluation of the possible impact of bycatch on biological communities and habitats. The framework will depend on collating data from diverse sources, including reference-fleet, self sampling programs, coast-guard surveillance, commercial fisheries organizations, offloading stations and processing plants. The project will evaluate the efficacy of various data sources in providing adequate quantitative estimates of bycatch as inputs to stock assessment. It will also investigate the appropriateness and possible improvement of current sampling methods to obtain more accurate estimates of bycatch and discards.
EnKF: The objective is to apply the Ensemble Kalman Filter in stock assessment. We intend to adopt an approach involving the application of survivor and catch dynamical models, where the number of survivors in a cohort, are considered as unobserved stochastic variables. The stochasticity is influenced by factors, such as, natural and fishing mortality, predator--prey interactions, and other ecological parameters, such as temperature, and zooplankton biomass. The observed catch statistics is likewise considered as a stochastic variable subject to fishing and sampling errors. Both models are linked through continuous SDEs, which quantify the stochastic dynamics of the stock. By borrowing strength in the estimation of individual key species, we will be able to quantify and obtain estimates of how harvest decisions on key species could affect the dynamics of the ecosystem, over a broad range of species, in addition to the population of key interest.