Consensus Report

Review of Northeast Fishery Stock Assessments (1998)

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

The collapse of cod, flounder, and haddock fish stocks in the Northeast United States has caused widespread concern among managers and fishermen in the United States and Canada. Numerous questions have been raised about the adequacy of stock assessment science used to evaluate the status of these stocks and the appropriateness of the management measures taken; based on these concerns, Congress mandated that a scientific review of the methodology and data used to evaluate these stocks be conducted. This report concludes that although there are improvements to be made in data collection, modeling uncertainty, and communicating between fishermen, managers, and scientists, the scientific methods used in the Northeast stock assessments are sound. Recommendations are made on how the stock assessment process can be improved.