Data-poor Fisheries Assessment

More than 90% of global fisheries are considered too small or data-poor for assessment with existing quantitative assessment models. With a series of groundbreaking studies, some still being published, Dr Prince has established fisheries can be assessed just with simple size studies slashing assessment costs by $100,000 to $million per stock.

The approach estimates the rate of spawning relative to unfished levels (spawning per recruit – SPR) rather than biomass trends, and incrementally adjusts fishing pressure to discover catch levels that stabilize stocks at management targets. Requiring only simple size studies the technique makes $5000 stock assessments possible, reducing a major impediment for data-poor fisheries. Serendipitously the new approach easily incorporates the management effects of Marine Protected Areas and facilitates implementing the Risk-Catch-Cost framework to fisheries management.

Funded by the David & Lucille Packard Foundation and The Nature Conservancy Dr Prince is working with the Marine Stewardship Council to establish a new certifiable standard for data-poor assessment, which they are implementing in case studies fisheries in every ocean basin.


Papers – Scientific Jounals

Hordyk, A.R., Loneragan, N.R., Diver, G., Prince, J.D. (2011). A cost-effective alternative for assessing the size of deep-water fish aggregations. Mar. Freshwater Res. 62: 480-490.

Prince, J. D., Dowling, N.A., Davies, C.R., Campbell,, R.A., and Dale S. Kolody, D.S. (2011). A simple cost-effective and scale-less empirical approach to harvest strategies. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 68: 947-960. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fs May 2011.

Wilson, J.R., Prince, J.D., Lenihan, H.S. (2010) A management strategy for sedentary nearshore species that uses marine protected areas as a reference. Mar. & Coastal Fish. Dyn. Manag. Ecosys. Sci. 2: 14-27.

Prince J. D. (2010) Rescaling fisheries assessment and management: a generic approach, access rights, change agents, and toolboxes. Bull. Mar. Sci. 86 (2): 197-219.

Smith, A.D.M., Smith, D.C., Tuck, G.N., Klaer, N., Punt, A.E., Knuckey, I., Prince, J., Morison, A., Kloser, R., Haddon, M., Wayte, S., Day, J., Fay, G., Pribac, F., Fuller, M., Taylor, B., Little, L.R. (2008). Experience in implementing harvest strategies in Australia’s south-eastern fisheries. Fish. Res. 94: 373-379.

Prince J.D., Peeters, H., Gorfine, H. & Day R.W. (2008). The novel use of harvest policies and rapid visual assessment to manage spatially complex abalone resources (Genus Haliotis). Fish. Res. 94: 330-338.

Prince, J.D., Loneragan, N., Okey, T. (2008) Contraction of the banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis) fishery of Albatross Bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Mar. Freshwater Res. 59: 383-390.

Prince, J.D. (2005) Combating the tyranny of scale for haliotids: Micro-management for micro-stocks. Bull. Mar. Sci. 72:557-577.

Prince, J.D. (2005). Gauntlet fisheries for elasmobranchs – the secret of sustainable shark fisheries. Northwest Atlant. Fish. Sci. 35: 407-416.

Prince J.D. (2004) The decline of global abalone (Genus Haliotid) production in the late twentieth century: is there a future? In Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching: Developments, Pitfalls & Opportunities. Edited by K.M. Leber, S. Kitada, H.L. Blankenship, T. Svasand Blackwells Publishing Ltd. Chapter 31, pp 427-443.

Prince, J.D. (2003). The barefoot ecologist goes fishing. Fish and Fisheries 4: 359-371.

Punt, A. E., Walker, T. I., and Prince, J. D. (2002). Assessing the management-related benefits of fixed-station fishery-independent surveys in Australia’s southern shark fishery. Fisheries Research 55: 281–295.

Prince, J.D. (2001). The Ecosystem of the South East Australian Fishery (Australia), and Fisher Lore. Mar. Freshwater Res. 52: 431-49

Prince, J.D., Griffin, D. (2001). The spawning dynamics of the eastern gemfish (Rexea solandri) in relation to regional oceanography. Mar. Freshwater Res. 52: 611-22

Punt, A.E, Pribac, F., Walker, T.I., Taylor, B.L., Prince, J.D. (2000). Stock assessment of school shark, Galeorhinus galeus, based on a spatially explicit dynamics model. Mar. Freshwater Res. 51: 205-220.

Walters, C., J. Prescott, R. McGarvey & J. Prince. (1998). Management options for the South Australian rock lobster fishery (Jasus edwardsii) fishery: a case study of co-operative assessment and policy design by fishers and biologists. In Proceedings of the North Pacific Symposium on Invertebrate Stock Assessment and Management. Edited by G.S. Jamieson and A. Campbell. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 125. pp. 377-391.

Prince, J and Hilborn, R. (1998). Concentration profiles and invertebrate fisheries management. In Proceedings of the North Pacific Symposium on Invertebrate Stock Assessment and Management. Edited by G.S. Jamieson and A. Campbell. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 125. pp. 187-196.

Prince, J.D., C. Walters, R. Ruiz-Avila and P. Sluczanowski. (1998). Territorial user’s rights in the Australian abalone fishery. In Proceedings of the North Pacific Symposium on Invertebrate Stock Assessment and Management. Edited by G.S. Jamieson and A. Campbell. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 125. pp. 367-375.

Slucanowski, P.R.W., Lewis, R.K., Prince, J.D., Tonkin, J. (1995) Interactive graphics computer models for fisheries management. Pages 71-79. In G.T. Sakagawa, editor. Assessment methodologies and management. Proceedings of the World Fisheries Congress, Theme 5. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

Prince, J.D. & Guzman del Proo, S.A. (1993). A stock-reduction analysis of the Mexican abalone fishery. Fish. Res. 16: 25 – 49.

Prince, J.D. & Shepherd S.A. (1992). Australian fisheries for abalone and their management. In Abalone of the world: biology, fisheries and culture. Edited by Shepherd S.A., Tegner, M.J., Guzman del Proo, S.A. Blackwells, Oxford. 744pp.

Prince, J.D. (1992). Exploring the dynamics of abalone fisheries using a spatial model of an exploited stock of Haliotis rubra. In Abalone of the world: biology, fisheries and culture. Edited by Shepherd S.A., Tegner, M.J., Guzman del Proo, S.A. Blackwells, Oxford. 744pp.

Prince, J.D. (1991). A new technique for tagging abalone. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 42: 101-106.

Prince, J.D., Sellers, T.L., Ford, W.B. & Talbot, S.R. (1988). Recruitment, growth, mortality and population structure in a southern Australian population of Haliotis rubra (genus Haliotis ; Mollusca : Gastropoda). Mar. Biol. 100: 75-82.

Prince, J.D., Sellers, T.L., Ford, W.B. & Talbot, S.R. (1988). Confirmation of a relationship between the localized abundance of breeding stock and recruitment for Haliotis rubra Leach (Mollusca : Gastropoda). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 122: 91-104.

Prince, J.D., Sellers, T.L., Ford, W.B. & Talbot, S.R. (1988). A method for ageing the abalone Haliotis rubra (Mollusca : Gastropoda). Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 40: 167-75.

Prince, J.D., Sellers, T.L., Ford, W.B. & Talbot, S.R. (1987). Experimental evidence for limited dispersal of haliotid larvae (genus Haliotis; Mollusca: Gastropoda). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 106: 243-263.

Prince, J.D. & Ford, W.B. (1985). Use of anaesthetic to standardize efficiency in sampling abalone populations (genus Haliotis; Mollusca; Gastropoda). Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater. Res. 36: 701-6.

Prince, J.D. & Potter, I.C. (1983). Life-cycle duration, growth and spawning times of five species of Atherinidae (Teleostei) found in a Western Australian estuary. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater. Res. 34: 287-301.

Prince, J.D., Ivantsoff, W. & Potter, I.C., (1982). Atherinosoma wallacei (Teleostei, Atherinidae), a new species of estuarine and inland water silverside from the Swan-Avon and Murray Rivers, Western Australia. Aust. Zool. 21: 63–74.

Prince, J.D., Potter, I.C., Lenanton, R.C.J. & Loneragan, N.R., (1982). Segregation and feeding of Atherinids (Teleostei) in South-western Australian estuaries. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater. Res. 33: 865-80.

Assessing Traditional Dugong Hunt, Torres Strait

In northern Australia the traditional owners of Torres Strait enjoy a continuing statutory Traditional Right to hunt the dugong (Sirenidae) but data on the hunt are sparse and stock status is uncertain. The project was to synthesise all available information and develop a most likely assessment in the form of interactive colour computer graphics software for interpretation by traditional hunters and their communities. The project involved gathering anecdotal information and assembling a plausible density dependence mechanism for dugong based on reproductive studies over a wide range of densities. The project was granted a privileged glimpse of the deep knowledge of dugong herd behaviour possessed by the Torres Strait hunters. It is hoped that the education provided by the rudimentary assessment in interactive computer software will facilitate local communities improving management and data collection.

Dr Jeremy Prince

Combining the experience of both resource assessment modeler and commercial fisher, Dr Prince has worked across shallow temperate fisheries for rock lobster, shrimp, abalone, sea urchins and sharks, down to deepwater fin fish like orange roughy and gemfish, and tropical pearl culture and tuna fisheries, through to traditional hunting for dugong (Sirenidae) in northern Australia.

Working on the interface between government and the fishing industry since the early 1980s he has consulted to government, industry and conservation groups in most of Australia’s more contentious fisheries assessment and management issues. Dr Prince’s core personal interest is in the assessment and management of small scale and data-poor fisheries.

Dr Prince is internationally recognized for his practical expertise in the fisheries ecology, assessment and management of benthic invertebrates, particularly abalone developed through his doctoral studies. One of his doctoral referees, Professor Carl Walters of the University of British Columbia, wrote:

Over some 20 years as a university faculty member, I have read about 60 doctoral dissertations. I have simply one conclusion: this is one of the best thesis that I have seen, or hope to see, in the field of fisheries ecology. I hope that he will hurry to publish it as a book and I assure you that this book will have a major impact on fisheries thinking around the world.

To view Dr Prince’s full resume click here.