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A Simulation Framework for Evaluating Multiple Fishery-Independent Survey Strategies in the Main Hawaiian Islands

November 01, 2022

We developed a simulation framework to evaluate sampling strategies within the data-limited main Hawaiian Island region based on 10 years of in situ ecological fishery-independent surveys.

Selecting an effective and cost-efficient sampling strategy in scientific surveys is a major concern in the management of living marine resources. This is particularly true when the target populations are highly structured over space and time, and the allocation of survey effort and resources are subject to logistical limitations and uncertainties.

We compare quantitative precision and bias of the spatiotemporal distribution of reef fish biomass estimates among functional levels using three contrasting stratified random survey designs;

(1) geographically comprehensive (“traditional”)

(2) ecologically homogeneous (“zone-based”)

(3) ecologically homogeneous but geographically reduced (“zone-triaged”) stratified designs.

The simulation scheme allowed us to incorporate varying sampling efforts to analyze the sensitivity of estimated biomass to the different strategies. Beyond this specific application, the simulation framework that we develop here will be a useful tool for evaluating the efficacy of fishery-independent surveys.

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service uses the NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-PIFSC series to disseminate scientific and technical information that has been scientifically reviewed and edited. Documents within this series reflect sound professional work and may be referenced in the formal scientific and technical literature.


Tanaka KR, Oliver TA. 2022. A Simulation Framework for Evaluating Multiple Fishery-independent Survey Strategies in the Main Hawaiian Islands. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-134, 30 p.  https://doi.org/10.25923/dqaf-wa04.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 12/12/2022