Incorporating Sediment and Hydrography Data in Assessments for Tilefish and Lobster

This study will employ a generalized additive modeling approach to 1) identify habitat associations for Gulf of Maine (GoM) American Lobster and Gulf of Mexico (GoMex) golden tilefish, 2) develop maps for lobster and tilefish in relation to various sediment and hydrographic factors, 3) improve precision of CPUE estimates by including habitat in index standardization, and 4) develop prior distributions for virgin biomass or recruitment (tilefish) for use in assessment models, leading to improved data quality and stock assessment.