Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM; outputs from 2020 meeting)
The Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM) aims at enabling research on predator-prey interactions for developing advice on the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. This report details results related to WGSAM term of reference B: “Update of key-runs (standardized model runs updated with recent data) of multispecies and ecosystem models for different ICES regions”. Multispecies model key-runs are used in ICES advice processes, and WGSAM provides critical expert review of these key-runs to recommend appropriate use of results. Although key-run reviews have been conducted in the past, requests for reviews are increasing. Therefore, WGSAM first formalized a consistent set of review criteria to conduct key-run reviews. These are outlined in section 2 of this report and are posted online (https://ices-eg.github.io/wg_WGSAM/ReviewCriteria.html). WGSAM then applied these review criteria to one key-run for the North Sea ecosystem. The review is detailed in section 3 of this report. As the review criteria were applied, WGSAM also noted any difficulties with the review process in order to further refine the review criteria and to make future key-run reviews more efficient and effective. WGSAM recommends the use of natural mortality estimates from the North Sea SMS key-run for use in single species stock assessment models of North Sea cod, haddock, herring, Norway pout, southern North Sea sandeel, northern North Sea sandeel, sprat, and whiting.