Use of an age-structured model for the stock assessment of blue shark in the north Atlantic
The paucity of exploitation and biological information for many pelagic shark species, such as blue shark (Prionace glauca), often thwarts the use of detailed population dynamics models for the simulation of the dynamics of those species and assessment of their status. A detailed agestructured population dynamics model is used here to describe the dynamics of blue shark population in the North Atlantic and evaluate the effects of exploitation on its stock size. Uncertainty in the understanding of blue shark dynamics and exploitation patterns due to limited data is incorporated using Bayesian statistics. The model is used to investigate the problems arising from the use of detailed population dynamics models in data poor cases. The potential of the statistical modeling framework to provide predictions about the status of blue shark population is examined and the sensitivity of the model predictions to the values of key input parameters is evaluated.