AbstractFishing is an economically and socially important activity with around 90 million tonnes of wild fish caught each year. Fisheries policy tries to balance potentially conflicting management drivers for sustainability and maintenance of ecosystem biodiversity with socioeconomic drivers of profit and employment at a variety of geographic scales. Stock assessment's role is to provide the best possible technical support to this process, estimating current and possible future fishery states and the effects of management decisions. This article summarizes the assessment process from the collection of biological and fisheries data, through the mathematical modeling approaches used, to assessing the uncertainty of the results and the robustness of advice. At each stage we highlight quality assurance issues and provide key references for more detailed study.

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