WPSAR is a cooperative effort between the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and Pacific Islands Regional Office to improve the quality, timeliness, objectivity, and integrity of stock assessments and other scientific information used in managing fishery resources in the Pacific Islands region.
Scientists at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center conducted three benchmark stock assessments for the Bottomfish Management Unit Species (BMUS) in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam, and combined them into a single stock assessment report. The report modeled all BMUS as a single complex for each assessment. In 2015, scientists conducted an update to stock assessments for territorial bottomfish. Following recommendations from the review panel for the 2015 assessments, the 2019 benchmark assessments incorporate improvements to data standardization and model assumptions. The assessments also account for variation in creel survey estimates of BMUS catch. We used production models to estimate biomass and stock status through time, and evaluated stock status against MSY-based reference points set in the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for each territory. The report provides projections to inform management's determination of acceptable biological catch and annual catch limits.
NOAA Fisheries and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council announced the review of the draft 2019 benchmark stock assessment for territorial bottomfish in the Federal Register for March 13, 2019.