The sex ratio of the commercial fishery catch represents an extremely important source of uncertainty in the annual stock assessment (Stewart and Hicks, 2020). The IPHC has generated sex information of the entire set of aged commercial fishery samples on an annual basis since 2017 (>10,000 fin clips per year). Sex information is obtained using genetic techniques based on the identification of sex-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (Drinan et al., 2018) using TaqMan qPCR assays conducted at the IPHC’s Biological Laboratory. Therefore, direct estimates of the sex-ratio at age for the directed commercial fishery are now available for stock assessment. Sex-ratio information of the commercial catch is likely to further inform selectivity parameters and cumulatively reduce uncertainty in future estimates of stock size, in addition to improving simulation of spawning biomass in the MSE Operating Model.
Drinan, D.P., Loher, T., and Hauser, L., 2018. Identification of Genomic Regions Associated With Sex in Pacific Halibut. Journal of Heredity 109, 326-332.
Stewart, I.J., and Hicks, A. 2020. Assessment of the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) stock at the end of 2019. Int. Pac. Halibut Comm. Annual Meeting Report: IPHC-2020-SA-01.