Date of Award

Summer 8-6-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Professor

Mahdi Abdelguerfi

Second Advisor

Shengru Tu

Third Advisor

Thomas Soniat


A simulation algorithm based on biological references points proposed by Powell and Klink (2007) is implemented for predicting the total allowable catch of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from Louisiana’s coast. The model accepts initial per-square-meter shell mass and oyster size distributions as input. Fishing effort is provided as fractions removed of each resource for each month of the season. The model outputs the expected remaining shell mass and harvests of sack and seed oysters after discrete fishing months. Oyster mortality credits the shell budget, while fishing fractions debit oyster and shell resources. Surviving oysters grow larger along a time-dependent von Bertalanffy growth curve. Fishing fractions are chosen heuristically with the goal of minimizing shell loss. Input data is collected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in their annual stock assessment. The model is available as a public web resource at


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License