My name is Tommy Garrison and this is my first year in the QERM program. After fulfilling the the first year requirements, I will be exploring the extent to which MPAs can improve estimates of stock assessment-related quantities with Andre Punt.
MPAs are widely accepted of achieving conservation oriented objectives: protection of habitats, conservation of biodiversity, etc., but their efficacy is less researched from traditional fisheries perspectives. An argued benefit is that because there is no fishing in an MPA, it may be possible to estimate the rate of natural of Mortality, M, (the data typically collected for stock assessment purposes are believed to provide little information about M) and better determine growth and fecundity rates (usually assumed to be known). These benefits are to be expected, but their magnitude has yet to be explored precisely and quantitatively.