Original Articles

Assessment of the monkfish Lophius vomerinus resource off Namibia


Abstract

The Lophius vomerinus component of the monkfish resource off Namibia was assessed by means of deterministic length- and age-based models. Steady state length cohort analyses illustrated that, although the model was sensitive to the rate of natural mortality, it was relatively insensitive to changes in terminal fishing mortality. These biases may, however, not be serious provided that estimates of abundance are used to reflect relative changes in the biomass dynamics of the population. The age-structured production model, tuned to trends in General-Linear-Modelling-standardized catch-per-unit-effort data and relative abundance indices calculated from hake (Merluccius spp.) biomass surveys, together with observed commercial and survey catches-at-age, showed similar trends. Both models provided evidence that the monkfish resource was fully to overexploited, with current harvesting levels higher than those concomitant with sustainable yields.

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