General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Report of the WGSASP benchmark session for the assessment of sardine and anchovy in GSAs 6 and 7

Mon, Jan, 2021, 1am - Sat, Jan, 2021, 1am

Download the report (available only in English): PDF


The Working Group on Stock Assessment of Small Pelagic Species (WGSASP) benchmark session for the assessment of sardine and anchovy in geographical subareas (GSAs) 6 and 7  was held online through Microsoft Teams on 18–23 January 2021, and continued and finalized online on 9 and 10 February 2021.

The objective of the meeting was to perform full analysis and  review the available information and methods used to provide advice on the status of the stocks, focusing on the considerations of old and new data sources as well as old and new (or improved) assessment models and assumptions. The session was attended by a total of 47 experts, including experts from the region and experts on the species and/or on stock assessment models discussed, as well as an external reviewer (Dr Alexandra Silva).

The session investigated all available input data and carried out an analysis of the performance of three different stock assessment methods:  FLR assessment for all (a4a) models, surplus production in continuous time (SPiCT) models and two-stage biomass model. After detailed exploration of all available data on life history and fisheries, it was decided that the two GSAs should be treated separately as  evidences on possible changes on growth parameters along time series for both species are highlighted. Finally, sardine (Sardina pilchardus) in GSA 6 and anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in GSAs 6 and 7 were assessed using a4a. Additional assessments were performed on sardine in GSA 6 and anchovy in GSAs 6 and 7 using SPiCT. Sardine in GSA 7 was assessed using a two-stage biomass model. Sardine in GSAs 6 and 7 as well as anchovy in GSA 7 were benchmarked. Anchovy in GSA 6 was assessed providing qualitative advice.  The group decided to keep the benchmark open and ongoing in order to assess improvements in data and finalize it within the following year in the presence of an external reviewer.