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The Assessment Oversight Panel (AOP) will meet to review the management track assessments for Atlantic herring and mackerel.

This is a follow-up to the February 25, 2020 AOP meeting due to changes in assessment planning for herring and mackerel.

The April 29, 2020 agenda and webinar meeting information are available here.

The following information was provided by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

On April 29, the Assessment Oversight Panel (AOP) will meet again to review changes to the previously approved stock assessment plans for Atlantic herring and Atlantic mackerel. The meeting will be held online only.

Reconvening the Assessment Oversight Panel

The Northeast region stock assessment process recommends one of three levels of management track peer review: (1) direct delivery of simple updates, (2) expedited peer review of updates with some changes to the model or data streams, or (3) enhanced peer review of updates with extensive changes.

In cases where an assessment plan changes post-AOP meeting, the NRCC stock assessment process calls for reconvening the AOP to review those changes and potentially revise the recommended level of peer review.

Atlantic herring assessment

The Atlantic herring assessment was intended to be a simple update, with no significant changes to the model or data streams. However, preliminary analyses have identified scientific challenges that weren’t expected at the original February 25 AOP meeting. Work is underway to address those challenges and will be discussed along with any assessment changes at the April 29 meeting.

Atlantic mackerel assessment

As a result of COVID-19, laboratory work needed to develop an egg index from the Atlantic mackerel fishery from US and Canadian data for the years 2017-2019 has been delayed. In addition, there is uncertainty about the availability of Canadian data. We are currently working to better characterize the data shortages and impact on the assessment, and plan to discuss any assessment changes that will address these impacts at the April 29 meeting.