nation of measures is employed to protect the long-term sustainability of the stock and long-term interests of users. However, most regulations ultimately control the current catch, and this may limit the income of fishermen in any given year.

Stock assessment scientists support the management process by advising on the nature of long-term sustainable harvest plans and the measures that are needed to accomplish such plans. They estimate the numbers of fish or biomass and a corresponding fishing mortality at each age in each year. Such estimates can be used to examine the rate of recruitment, current recruitment levels, and spawner-recruitment relationships and then to predict what might occur under various management scenarios. Biological reference points are pre-specified management control objectives developed from observations and assumptions based on population characteristics (e.g., annual mortality rates, growth, maturity at age) that often prove to be useful statistics for comparing the output of stock assessment models (Box 1-2).

CONTENT OF REPORT

The committee summarizes its review of the 1996 and 1999 summer flounder assessments in Chapter 2 and provides additional detail about the assessments in Appendix C and Appendix D. Chapter 3 provides background information for the more general data issues examined by the committee and Chapter 4 contains the committee's findings and recommendations.



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