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Long live the Baranov catch equation!

Shaken, not stirred. A new paper is shaking the position of the Baranov catch equation as one of the cornerstones of fisheries science. Fortunately, this shaking turns out not be too serious.

Portrait of Fedor Baranov and his catch equation
Fedor Baranov, a founding father of fisheries science, his catch equation, and one of the targets.
Photo:
Montage by M. Heino

The Baranov catch equation is a cornerstone of quantitative fisheries science, often known simply as the catch equation. Now it's position is being shaken, as the assumptions underlying the Baranov catch equation are shaky. But no worry, in many situations the Baranov catch equation is good enough approximation of more realistic catch equations. Nevertheless, it can lead to wrong understanding of seasonal fisheries dynamics, and more realistic alternatives are available.

Liu, X., and M. Heino. 2014. Overlooked biological and economic implications of within-season fishery dynamics. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71:181–188. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0029.