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Case study 8: Base case BC1: Evaluation of the current exploitation pattern to different fleet segments assuming stock-independent recruitment.


This case study scenarion includes a 20-year catch projection of the fishery assumming no changes in the current exploitation pattern

Description of the fishery, stocks and management system

See general introduction of CS8

Description of the base case and scenario evaluations

See general introduction of CS8

Data and parameters

Stock data

The assessment of the current hake population in the Aegean Sea was obtained by running a pseudo-cohort VPA on the trawl total catches (landings and discards) of 2004, using the average total catch at age distribution of the last three years, with 7 as the ‘plus’ group. The results of this assessment were used in the current case study. Growth and natural mortality rates were obtained, mostly from the bibliography (Aldebert et al. 1993; Aldebert & Recasens, 1998; Bozzano et al. 1997; Recasens et al. 1998, Papaconstantinou and Stergiou 1995).

Fleet data

Both segments of the Aegean trawl fleet targeting hake were considered. These segments involved: a) vessels with total length between 12-24 and b) vessels with TL 24-40 meters.


FLR (Operating Model)

The FLR packages used are FLCore ver. 1.4-3. Data were modelled by means of the FLFleet and FLBiol classes of FLCore. Additional classes concerning economic data (e.g. FLPrice, FLcost) were added (see R-code). The projection scenario was simulated 100 times R-code.

Conditioning of Operating Model

Historical Estimates of Time Series

The operational model was based on the results of the latest assessment of the hake population in the Aegean Sea using a pseudo-cohort VPA on the trawl total catches (landings and discards) of 2004.

Biological Parameters

Natural mortality was assummed constant at M=0.2. The fishing mortality (F) estimates by age equal the 2004 derived values.

Stock Recruitment Relationships

Recruitment was considered independent of stock size. Based on the assessment estimates, annual recruitment rates for the projection period were randomly obtained from a normal distribution with mean and coefficient of variation (CV) equal to those estimated for the assessment period (including random variability 10% in recruitment)

Fisheries & Fleets

Both segments of the Aegean trawl fleet targeting hake were considered. These segments involved: a) vessels with total length between 12-24 and b) vessels with TL 24-40 meters.


Economic data have been also considered. Estimates of variable and fixed costs of the trawl fishery in the Aegean Sea have been currently included in the models.

Reference Points

Reference points for hake in the Aegean Sea are yet to be advanced and thus were not considered.

Observation Error Model

The observables in the model are the initial vector of abundance index by age group. Observation error model was not assumed here.

Management Procedure

The stock is managed through technical measures and effort control rules, thus there is no specific management procedure (e.g. harvest control rules, TAC, quotas)


The results of the current runs of the model suggested a relatively stable production pattern. Annual landings were approximately 2800-3100 MT (prob > 50%) throughout the projection period (2004-2023). Reported catches for the years 2005-2006 fell well withing the range of the predicted ones (HCMR database). The two fleet segments were characterised by similar fishing effort in terms of total fishing days. As a result their projected exploitation rates (in terms of landings) exhibited similar patterns and levels.

Figure 1. Projected Box-plots by year, for the production estimates (above) and the Net Revenues (below) obtained from 100 simulations for the base case BC1.


The following paper has been produced from CS work carried out so far. This paper will also be presented in the 38th COMMISSION INTERNATIONALE POUR L’EXPLORATION CIENTIFIQUE DE LA MER MÉDITERRANÉE (CIESM) Congress to be held in Istanbul Turkey in April 9-13th :

J. Haralabous, CD Maravelias, G. Tserpes & C. Papaconstantinou. 2007. Developing an FLR operational model for evaluation of fisheries management strategies: an application to hake fishery. 38th CIESM Congress, 9-13 April 2007, Istanbul, Turkey.


Aldebert, Y. & C. Carries. 1988. Problèmes dans l’exploitation du merlu en Golfe du Lion. Rapport 5ème Consultation Technique du Conseil Général des Pêches de la Méditerranée. FAO Fish. Rep., 395: 87-91.

Aldebert, Y., L. Recasens & J. Lleonart. 1993. Analysis of gear interactions in a hake fishery: The case of the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean). Sci. Mar. 57(2-3): 207-217.

Aldebert, Y. & L. Recasens. 1996. Comparison of methods for stock assessment of European hake, Merluccius merluccius, in the Gulf of Lions (north-western Mediterranean). Aquat. Living Res. 9(1); 13-22.

Cheret, Y., H. Farrugio, A. Jadaud, P. Lespagnol, C. Mellon, M. Gaza, E. Massutí, G. Pomar, P. Pereda & J. Lleonart. 2002. Stock assessment of the French-Spanish shared stock of hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the Gulf of Lions. Working document Nº 6 to the GFCM SAC Working group on the assessment of demer-sal stocks, Rome 20-22 March 2002.

Fiorentino, F., A. Zamboni & G. Relini. 1998. La selettività della rete a strascico in Merluccius merluccius sulla base delle esperienze riportate in letteratura. Biol. Mar. Med. 5(2): 465-474.

Lleonart, J. & J. Salat. 1992. VIT: Software for fishery analysis. FAO, Computerized In-formation Series – Fisheries, Nº 11. Rome.

Lleonart, J., F. Maynou, L. Recasens & R. Franquesa. 2003. A bioeconomic model for Mediterranean Fisheries, the hake off Catalonia (Western Mediterranean) as a case study. Sci. Mar., 67 (suppl. 1): 337-351. In: Fisheries stock assessments and predictions: Integrating relevant knowledge, Ø. Ulltang, G. Blom [eds.].

Oliver, P. & E. Massutí. 1995. Biology and fisheries of western Mediterranean hake (M. merluccius). In Hake: Biology, fisheries and markets. Alheit, J. & T. J. Pitcher (ed.) London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 181-202.

Maravelias, C. D. & C. Papaconstantinou 2006. Geographic, seasonal and bathymetric distribu-tion of demersal fish species in the eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Applied Ichthy-ology 22: 35-42.

Papaconstantinou C. & K.I. Stergiou. 1995. Biology and Fisheries of Eastern Mediter-ranean hake (M. merluccius). In: Hake: Biology, fisheries and markets. Edited by J.Alheit and T. Pitcher. Chapman & Hall, London, 1995.


EFIMAS Contribution to the work

This work has been done under the EFIMAS Project.

Participants: Costas Papaconstantinou, John Haralabous, Christos Maravelias, George Tserpes

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