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The conference, taking place 17-19 July, focuses on and discusses fish stock assessment methods – both challenges to their development and needs for future evaluation.

"There are lots of complicated and simple models and methods available," explains Mark Dickey-Collas, Ecosystem Professional Officer at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and one of the conference conveners. "We will discuss what the main challenges to these methods are and what they are good and not good for".

Conference sessions will host discussions on key challenges for single-species assessments as well as consider ecosystem dynamics and structure assessment, spatial complexity, and temporal change issues.

A separate session will be dedicated to data-poor approaches. Scientists from many areas of the world are currently producing methods to assess stocks with limited data, and conference participants will investigate whether a common theme/methodology is developing within this area.

The conference is organized by a large collaboration of regional and national fishery management organizations and research institutes, with Dickey-Collas from ICES and Steve Cadrin from the University of Massachusetts as conveners. Experts in tuna, tropical, temperate, freshwater and marine fisheries are taking part. Sidney Holt, a British zoologist and one of the founding fathers of modern fisheries science, will be kicking off Wednesday's opening session with his lecture entitled 'what is a fish stock assessment?', and asking whether its meaning extends beyond the development and regulation of fisheries.

Visit the conference website for more information.

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