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    Stock assessment of southwest Pacific swordfish, 2021, N. Ducharme-Barth, C. Castillo-Jordán, J. Hampton, P. Williams, G. Pilling, P.Hamer, Oceanic Fisheries Programme, Pacific Community (SPC), Nouméa, New Caledonia

    This  paper  describes  the  2021  stock  assessment  of  swordfish  (Xiphias  gladius)  in  the  southwest Pacific Ocean (SWPO) using a sex-aggregated model structure in MULTIFAN-CL. A further four years of data were available since the last full stock assessment conducted in 2017, and the model extends through to the end of 2019.  New developments to the stock assessment include:

    • A  new  approach  for  developing  a  model  ensemble  and  characterizing  uncertainty  in  man-agement  reference  points,  capturing  both  the  model  and  estimation  uncertainty  based  on (Ducharme-Barth and Vincent, 2021).
    • Updates to the biological assumptions and definition of reproductive potential.
    • Implementation of an “index” fishery approach.

    The  assessment  is  supported  by  the  development  of  a  new  framework  for  developing  a  model ensemble and presenting the uncertainty in reference points (Ducharme-Barth and Vincent, 2021), background analyses of biological parameters, preparation of the length-weight composition data and  definition  of  the  fisheries  structures  (Ducharme-Barth  et  al.,  2021b),  re-analysis  of  tagging data to create a movement prior for the stock assessment (Patterson et al., 2021), and a review of swordfish biology, status and stock structure in the Pacific (Moore, 2020). 
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