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This work is essentially orientated to present an introduction to the mathematical models applied to fisheries stock assessment.

There are several types of courses about the methods used in fish stock assessment.

One type considers practical application as the main aspect of the course, including the use of computer programs. The theoretical aspects are referred to and treated as complementary aspects.

A second type is mainly concerned with the theoretical aspects of the most used models. The practical application, considered as the complementary part, facilitates the understanding of the theoretical subjects.

In this work, the second type was adopted and exercises were prepared to be solved in a worksheet (Microsoft Excel). The table of contents indicates the exercises corresponding to each subject.

This manual is the result of a series of courses on Fish Stock Assessment held in the following places. Portugal: Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar - IPIMAR (ex-INIP) in Lisbon, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, University of Algarve and Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar in Oporto. Other courses were held at Instituto de Investigação das Pescas in Cape Verde, at the Centro de Investigação Pesqueira in Angola, at the Instituto de Investigação das Pescas in Mozambique, at the Centro de Investigacion Pesquera - CIP in Cuba, at the Instituto del Mar del Perú - IMARPE in Peru, at the Instituto Español de Oceanografía - IEO (Vigo and Málaga - Spain). It is also a result of some lectures integrated into cooperation courses held in several countries and organized by FAO, by SIDA (Sweden), by NORAD (Norway) and by ICCAT.

Other fisheries scientists cooperated in these courses and they are also co-responsible for the orientation of the subjects studied and very particularly for the elaboration of the exercises and the editorial work. With no particular criterium, these are some of the collaborators to whom I express my appreciation: Ana Maria Caramelo, Manuel Afonso Dias, Pedro Conte de Barros, Manuela Azevedo Lebre, Raúl Coyula, Renato Guevara.

Lisbon, December 1997
E. Cadima

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