The major concern for management of many coral reefs is conservation of the habitat and stocks. It seems that this can be achieved with little reference to stock assessment, by using community management and closed areas, which have received increasing support that they are effective. However once the objective of conservation is achieved, stock assessment should have an important role in improving the economic performance of the fisheries. This review of stock assessment and management models concentrates on capture fisheries for finfish. The extensive literature on fish ecology is reviewed briefly from the point of view of fisheries management and provides background for those not familiar with this area of research. The aim is to see whether studies can suggest any improvements to population models currently used in stock assessment. Using case studies the wider issues of coral reef fisheries management are then briefly discussed. It is argued that the coral reef environment is beset by a number of environmental and socio-economic problems which may well eclipse those of traditional stock management.
MRAG Ltd., Fish Management Science Programme, Overseas Development Administration, 49 pp.