Assumptions behind size-based ecosystem models are realistic


A recent publication about balanced harvesting (Froese et al., ICES Journal of Marine Science; 73: 1640–1650) contains several erroneous statements about size-spectrum models. We refute the statements by showing that the assumptions pertaining to size-spectrum models discussed by Froese et al. are realistic and consistent. We further show that the assumption about density-dependence being described by a stock recruitment relationship is responsible for determining whether a peak in the cohort biomass of a population occurs late or early in life. Finally, we argue that there is indeed a constructive role for a wide suite of ecosystem models to evaluate fishing strategies in an ecosystem context.

ICES Journal of Marine Science