NMFS Vulnerability Evaluation Work Group

Fisheries Ecology Division,

The NMFS Vulnerability Evaluation Work Group (VEWG) held a meeting at the SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division in Santa Cruz on June 23 and 24, to discuss options and review case studies for evaluating the vulnerability of stocks and stock complexes to fishing based on life history characteristics and susceptibility to the fishery. This group was established as part of the process for revising the guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and includes representatives from all of the NOAA Fisheries Science Centers and the Office of Sustainable Fisheries in Silver Spring, Maryland. John Field is the SWFSC representative to this group and hosted the meeting, and has been working on a case study of the nearshore rockfish complex with Jason Cope (NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center) and Meisha Key (California Department of Fish and Game).

The VEWG technical guidance should be finalized and published by December 2008. This guidance is anticipated to provide a practicable and useful tool for evaluating the vulnerability of stock to becoming overfished based on its life history characteristics and susceptibility to the fishery, and should include several case studies that demonstrate how the tool can be used.

(June 30, 2008)

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