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Revisiting the concept of Beverton–Holt life-history invariants with the aim of informing data-poor fisheries assessment


Prince, J and Hordyk, A and Valencia, SR and Loneragan, N and Sainsbury, K, Revisiting the concept of Beverton-Holt life-history invariants with the aim of informing data-poor fisheries assessment, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72, (1) pp. 194-203. ISSN 1054-3139 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsu011


The complexity and cost of assessment techniques prohibits their application to 90% of fisheries. Simple generic approaches are needed for the world’s small-scale and data-poor fisheries. This meta-analysis of the relationship between spawning potential and the normalized size and age of 123 marine species suggests that the so-called Beverton–Holt life-history invariants (BH-LHI; Lm/L1, M/k, M × Agem) actually vary together in relation to life-history strategy, determining the relationship between size, age, and reproductive potential for each species. Although little realized, the common assumption of unique values for the BH-LHI also implies that all species share the same relationship between size, age, and reproductive potential. This implicit assumption is not supported by this meta-analysis, which suggests that there is considerable but predictable natural variation in the BH-LHI ratios and the relationships between size, age, and reproductive potential that they determine. We believe that this reconceptualization of the BH-LHI has potential to provide a theoretical framework for "borrowing" knowledge from well-studied species to apply to related, unstudied species and populations, and when applied together with the assessment technique described by Hordyk et al. (this issue b), could make simple forms of size-based assessment possible for many currently unassessable fish stocks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Beverton–Holt life-history invariant, data-poor assessment, parameter estimation
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sainsbury, K (Professor Keith Sainsbury)
ID Code:95496
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-10-03
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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