Hansen (2006) describes a study to assess the migration and survival of salmon released from fish farms located in Norway. The mingling of escaped farmed salmon with wild salmon raises several concerns. First, the assessment of the abundance of wild salmon stocks will be biased if there is a presence of large numbers of farmed salmon. Second, potential interbreeding between farmed and wild salmon may result in a reduction in the health of the wild stocks. Third, diseases present in farmed salmon may be transferred to wild salmon. Two batches of farmed salmon were tagged and released in two locations, one batch of 1,996 fish in northern Norway and a second batch of 2,499 fish in southern Norway. The researchers recorded the time and location at which the fish were captured by either commercial fisherman or anglers in fresh water. Two of the most important pieces of information to be determined by the study were the distance from the point of the fish’s release to the point of its capture and the length of time it took for the fish to be captured.
a. Identify the population that is of interest to the researchers.
b. Describe the sample.
c. What characteristics of the population are of interest to the researchers?
d. If the sample measurements are used to make inferences about the population characteristics, why is a measure of reliability of the inferences important?

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