Combining multiple data sets to unravel the spatiotemporal dynamics of a data-limited fish stock

Cecilia Pinto, Morgane Travers-Trolet, Jed Macdonald, Etienne Rivot, Youen Vermard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biological status of many commercially exploited fishes remains unknown, mostly due to a lack of data necessary for their assessment. Investigating the spatiotemporal dynamics of such species can lead to new insights into population processes and foster a path towards improved spatial management decisions. Here, we focused on striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus), a widespread yet data-limited species of high commercial importance. Aiming to quantify range dynamics in this data-poor scenario, we combined fishery-dependent and -independent data sets through a series of Bayesian mixed-effects models designed to capture monthly and seasonal occurrence patterns near the species’ northern range limit across 20 years. Combining multiple data sets allowed us to cover the entire distribution of the northern population of M. surmuletus, exploring dynamics at different spatiotemporal scales and identifying key environmental drivers (i.e., sea surface temperature, salinity) that shape occurrence patterns. Our results demonstrate that even when process and (or) observation uncertainty is high, or when data are sparse, if we combine multiple data sets within a hierarchical modelling framework, accurate and useful spatial predictions can still be made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1349
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Other keywords

  • Sjávarlíffræði
  • Fiskar
  • Vistkerfi


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