SEDAR assessment projects follow one of three approaches approved by the Steering Committee: benchmark, standard and update. Each provides a peer reviewed stock assessment, they simply vary in the details of how the project is managed as well as the time and analyses required.
SEDAR Benchmark Approach
The Benchmark Approach is used to develop first-time assessments for stocks and to incorporate new datasets or new analytical methods into existing assessments. It is the most time-consuming and intensive approach for developing assessments, taking around 9 months to complete. SEDAR began with what is now called the Benchmark Approach, thus the 3 stages of the approach are reflected in the program name: Data, Assessment, and Review. Benchmark projects are uniquely numbered and often address multiple stocks.
- Stage 1 - Data: A workshop where datasets are documented, analyzed, and reviewed and data for conducting assessment analyses are compiled.
- Stage 2 - Assessment: A workshop or series of webinars where quantitative population analyses are developed and refined and population parameters are estimated.
- Stage 3 - Review: A panel or group of independent experts reviews the data and assessment to determine if the methods applied are scientifically sound.
SEDAR Standard Approach
The standard approach is used to incorporate recent information into existing assessments. The time allotted for standard projects ranges from 4 to 6 months. Existing input datasets are updated, and there is some leeway for consideration of new information and changes in model configuration. Standard projects typically include a single workshop that combines data evaluation and the assessment process. Peer review is provided by a Cooperator's technical panel such as a Council Scientific and Statistical Committee. SEDAR standard projects are uniquely numbered and seldom include more than a single stock.
SEDAR Update Approach
The update approach, used strictly to incorporate the most recent information into assessment analyses, is the most rapid of the three approaches. Updates only allow for applying additional years of data to an existing assessment and are typically completed in around 3 months. No workshops are convened; instead the lead analytical agency obtains the recent information and updates the analytical model accordingly. Similar to the Standard process, peer review is provided by a Cooperator's technical panel such as a Council Scientific and Statistical Committee. SEDAR update projects are not numbered. They are listed by the year of the update with the Benchmark or Standard process documentation which developed the model framework that is updated. A particular assessment framework may be updated several times. For example, project 1, the first SEDAR assessment, developed an assessment of South Atlantic red porgy that has been updated in 2006 and 2012.