University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Bayesian fisheries stock assessment: integrating and updating knowledge
Doctoral dissertation, June 2006.
In this thesis the use of the Bayesian approach to statistical inference in fisheries stock assessment is studied. The work was conducted in collaboration of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute by using the problem of monitoring and prediction of the juvenile salmon population in the River Tornionjoki as an example application. The River Tornionjoki is the largest salmon river flowing into the Baltic Sea.
This thesis tackles the issues of model formulation and model checking as well as computational problems related to Bayesian modelling in the context of fisheries stock assessment. Each article of the thesis provides a novel method either for extracting information from data obtained via a particular type of sampling system or for integrating the information about the fish stock from multiple sources in terms of a population dynamics model. Mark-recapture and removal sampling schemes and a random catch sampling method are covered for the estimation of the population size. In addition, a method for estimating the stock composition of a salmon catch based on DNA samples is also presented.
For most of the articles, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation has been used as a tool to approximate the posterior distribution. Problems arising from the sampling method are also briefly discussed and potential solutions for these problems are proposed.
Special emphasis in the discussion is given to the philosophical foundation of the Bayesian approach in the context of fisheries stock assessment. It is argued that the role of subjective prior knowledge needed in practically all parts of a Bayesian model should be recognized and consequently fully utilised in the process of model formulation.
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© University of Helsinki 2006
Last updated 24.05.2006