A method with an accompanying computer program is described to estimate the number of individuals needed to construct a sample length-frequency with a given accuracy and precision. First, a reference length-frequency assumed to be accurate for a particular sampling gear and collection strategy was constructed. Bootstrap procedures created length-frequencies with increasing sample size that were randomly chosen from the reference data and then were compared with the reference length-frequency by calculating the mean squared difference. Outputs from two species collected with different gears and an artificial even length-frequency are used to describe the characteristics of the method. The relations between the number of individuals used to construct a length-frequency and the similarity to the reference length-frequency followed a negative exponential distribution and showed the importance of using 300-400 individuals whenever possible.
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Sample-size requirements for evaluating population size structure