Comparing survey and assessment data: Consequences for stock evaluation of Northeast Arctic Greenland halibut
Ole Thomas Albert and Åge S. Høines
Based on VPA-estimates of abundance, survey data and commercial catch statistics of Northeast Arctic Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides Walbaum), the paper describes trends by year-class and age in the distribution of Greenland halibut between surveyed and not-surveyed areas. Changes in the distribution of I-group around 1990 to areas beyond the Svalbard surveys has previously been described and related to temperature changes in the Spitsbergen Current. This paper shows that this displaced distribution of the 1989-94 year-classes persisted up to age 7. The results indicate that the displacement was an extraordinary situation and other similar distribution shifts have not occurred during the last 30 years or more. Further, the shift co-occurred with extreme levels of the 137 year long time series of the index of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The results are discussed in relation to stock management and climate change.