Why Are Bayesian Methods Useful for the Stock Assessment of Sharks?

Murdoch K. Mcallister, Ellen K. Pikitch, Elizabeth A Babcock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Ichthyologists alerted fishery managers three decades ago to the low reproductive capacity of sharks and their high susceptibility to overexploitation. In many instances, it remains impossible to confidently apply current fisheries stock assessment methods to shark populations and to provide compelling scientific evidence to motivate conservation action where it is needed. This is due to a variety of reasons, including a paucity of biological data and fishery-independent times-series of abundance for sharks, as well as substantial differences in biology between sharks and other exploited fish species. In this chapter, we review some of the goals and requirements of stock assessment methods for sharks, and outline why Bayesian methods may be useful. When used in conjunction with existing modeling methods, the Bayesian approach could help strengthen the scientific support needed for designing precautionary fishery management policies for sharks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSharks of the Open Ocean: Biology, Fisheries and Conservation
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781444302516, 0632059958, 9780632059959
StatePublished - Jan 30 2009


  • Bayes' theorem
  • Bayesian
  • Catch per unit effort
  • Demographic methods
  • Population dynamics
  • Stock assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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