The ICES December newsletter announces the two-part course on proxy MSY reference points that will be held in January and February to kick off the 2017 training programme.

The first course of the year centres on the ICES fish stocks for which data and knowledge are insufficient to conduct a full analytical assessment of their state and exploitation. Known as category 3 and 4 stocks, these constitute over 30% of all stocks for which ICES provides advice. Length-based and catch and survey-based methods for providing reference points for these stocks emerged in 2015, and a year later these techniques were applied in order to classify the status of a small group of stocks relative to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) reference points. This practice will be expanded to all category 3 and 4 stocks in 2017, with work to be carried out by the stock assessment expert groups. Training in the methods is therefore important for the members of these groups in order to learn the principles behind each method, the data and format, and how to run the code and interpret the results for advice.  

The course will be ran exploiting a BlueBRIDGE virtual research environment (VRE) that will be set up ad hoc. Prior to the course, all the participants will have access to the VRE set up for use with all length-based methods and which will contain method code, data format, and example output files as well as provide a pre-set environment for running the code.

Stay tuned! Read the full article on the ICES newsletter here.