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ASMFC Schedules Peer Review for American Eel Benchmark Stock Assessment

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Eel Benchmark Stock Assessment will be peer-reviewed over several dates in late November and early December (November 28 and 30; December 1 and 5), via webinar. The benchmark assessment explored several new approaches for American eel, including a delay-difference model and some trend analyses, and developed an egg-per-recruit model. Additionally, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a pilot assessment of the ability to use a GIS-based habitat analysis to inform eel stock assessments. The Stock Assessment Subcommittee also explored several index-based methods for determining stock status and providing catch advice.

American eel is a challenging species to conserve and manage for a number of reasons. During its life-span the American eel navigates through and resides in a wide range of habitats, from the oceanic waters of the Sargasso Sea to the brackish waters of coastal estuaries and inland freshwater river systems. Throughout this journey, American eel inhabits areas under a myriad of management authorities, from international to multiple federal, state and local governments. Widely varying life history traits along the coast and between freshwater and ocean habitats and American eel’s large distribution from Brazil to Canada have complicated attempts to quantitatively model and assess this species over several stock assessments. This stock assessment has not resolved these issues despite investigating several new tools and methods.

The peer review is open to the public, except for the Peer Review Panel’s final deliberations, when the public and all other workshop participants will be asked to exit the webinar. The link to the webinar follows: https://meet.goto.com/146962109 or by phone at 866.899.4679, access code: 146‐962‐109. Please note participants do not need to register in advance of the meeting, simply click on the webinar link the day of the meeting. The agenda for the peer review can be found at http://www.asmfc.org/files/Meetings/AmEelPeerReviewWorkshopAgenda2022.pdf.

It is anticipated that the Benchmark Stock Assessment and Peer Review Report will be considered by the American Eel Management Board in February 2023. For more information, please contact Patrick Campfield, Fisheries Science Director, at pcampfield@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

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