Síntesis de las evaluaciones y sugerencias de manejo efectuadas sobre el recurso merluza (Merluccius hubbsi) entre el año 1986 y mayo de 1997.
Hake (Merluccius hubbsi) stock assessments and management recommendations made as of 1986 for the Argentine Sea, are summarized. The surplus production models used allowed to diagnose an overdimensioned fleet and to establish that, as of 1983, population densities were lower than the optimum values. In 1990 it was mentioned that total landings exceeded the Maximum Sustainable Yield and that the fishing effort was above the optimum exploitation level. The Virtual Population Analysis was first applied in 1993 and, for the 1986-1991 period, a 25. increase in fishing mortality, significant reductions of total and reproductive biomasses and a first catch length of 25 cm were detected. Besides, proposals were made to enhance accuracy of future assessments. In 1994 stock assessment was updated and a significant reduction of the fishing effort was suggested. In 1995 two hake management units were defined and independent assessments initiated north and south of 41°S. The following year risk analysis was introduced and protection of patagonian hake nursery ground was suggested. In 1997 the ADAPT methodology was first applied and, considering the uncertainty of the information available, a risk analysis was performed. Conclusions were that north and south stocks were overfished, that total biomass was decreasing, that reproductive biomass was lower than the biologically acceptable level and that the fishery was sustained by a few year classes.