Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Probability and Statistics




9991872 (1-10)


The ability of government agencies to assign accurate ages of fish is important to fisheries management. Accurate ageing allows for most reliable age-based models to be used to support sustainability and maximize economic benefit. Assigning age relies on validating putative annual marks by evaluating accretional material laid down in patterns in fish ear bones, typically by marginal increment analysis. These patterns often take the shape of a sawtooth wave with an abrupt drop in accretion yearly to form an annual band and are typically validated qualitatively. Researchers have shown key interest in modeling marginal increments to verify the marks do, in fact, occur yearly. However, it has been challenging in finding the best model to predict this sawtooth wave pattern. We propose three new applications of time series models to validate the existence of the yearly sawtooth wave patterned data: autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), unobserved component, and copula. These methods are expected to enable the identification of yearly patterns in accretion. ARIMA and unobserved components account for the dependence of observations and error, while copula incorporates a variety of marginal distributions and dependence structures. The unobserved component model produced the best results (AIC: -123.7, MSE 0.00626), followed by the time series model (AIC: -117.292, MSE: 0.0081), and then the copula model (AIC: -96.62, Kendall's tau: -0.5503). The unobserved component model performed best due to the completeness of the dataset. In conclusion, all three models are effective tools to validate yearly accretional patterns in fish ear bones despite their differences in constraints and assumptions.


Copyright © 2023 Kathleen S. Kirch et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Data Availability

Article states: "The data used to support the study are available from the corresponding author upon request."

Original Publication Citation

Kirch, K. S., Diawara, N., & Jones, C. M. (2023). Fitting time series models to fisheries data to ascertain age. Journal of Probability and Statistics, 2023, 1-10, Article 9991872.


0009-0009-1484-5390 (Kirch), 0000-0002-8403-6793 (Diawara)


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