Assessing in Support of Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in the U.S
This paper highlights the importance of not waiting to integrate coupled social-ecological systems (SES) models, as timing affects the ability to fully address management questions
There has been an increase of coupled social-ecological systems (SES) models created and published in recent years.
However, the degree of coupling between natural and social systems varies widely across the different coupled models and is often a function of the disciplinary background of the team conducting the research.
This manuscript examines models developed for and used by NOAA Fisheries in support of Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) in the United States. It provides resource managers and interdisciplinary scientists insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly used SES models: end-to-end models, conceptual models, bioeconomic models, management strategy evaluations (MSEs), fisher behavior models, integrated social vulnerability models, and regional economic impact models.
These model types are not unique to the literature, but allow us to differentiate between one-way coupled models – where outputs from one model are inputs into a second model of another discipline with no feedback to the first model, and two-way coupled models – where there are linkages between the natural and social system models.
For a model to provide useful strategic or tactical advice, it should only be coupled to the degree necessary to understand the important dynamics/responses of the system and to create management-relevant performance metrics or potential risks from an (in)action.
However, one key finding is to not wait to integrate! This paper highlights the importance of “when” the coupling happens, as timing affects the ability to fully address management questions and multi-sectoral usage conflicts that consider the full SES for EBFM or ecosystem based management (EBM) more generally.
Kasperski S, DePiper GS, Blake S, Colburn LL, Jepson M, Haynie1 AC, Karnauskas M, Leong KM, Lipton D, Masi M, et al. 2021. Assessing the State of Coupled Social-Ecological Modeling in Support of Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in the U.S. Front. Mar. Sci. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.631400.