UCSC-SOE-09-17: Flexible modeling for stock-recruitment relationships using Bayesian nonparametric mixtures

Kassandra Fronczyk, Athanasios Kottas, Stephan Munch
04/15/2009 09:00 AM
Applied Mathematics & Statistics
The stock and recruitment relationship is fundamental to the management of fishery natural resources. However, inferring stock-recruitment relationships is a challenging problem because of the limited available data, the collection of plausible models, and the biological characteristics that should be reflected in the model. Motivated by limitations of traditional parametric stock-recruitment models, we propose a Bayesian nonparametric approach based on a mixture model for the joint distribution of log-reproductive success and stock biomass. Flexible mixture modeling for this bivariate distribution yields rich inference for the stock-recruitment relationship through the implied conditional distribution of log-reproductive success given stock biomass. The method is illustrated with cod data from six regions of the North Atlantic, including comparison with simpler Bayesian parametric and semiparametric models.