A Case Study in Connecting Fisheries Management Challenges With Models and Analysis to Support Ecosystem-Based Management in the California Current Ecosystem
We address the challenges of models and analyses for ecosystem-based fisheries management by presenting a case study of a process to identify management priorities and assess potential models and analyses that could help the identified policy concerns.
One of the significant challenges to using information and ideas generated through ecosystem models and analyses for ecosystem-based fisheries management is the disconnect between modeling and management needs. Here we present a case study from the U.S. West Coast, the stakeholder review of NOAA’s annual ecosystem status report for the California Current Ecosystem established by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council’s Fisheries Ecosystem Plan, showcasing a process to identify management priorities that require information from ecosystem models and analyses. We then assess potential ecosystem models and analyses that could help address the identified policy concerns. We screened stakeholder comments and found 17 comments highlighting the need for ecosystem-level synthesis. Policy needs for ecosystem science included: (1) assessment of how the environment affects productivity of target species to improve forecasts of biomass and reference points required for setting harvest limits, (2) assessment of shifts in the spatial distribution of target stocks and protected species to anticipate changes in availability and the potential for interactions between target and protected species, (3) identification of trophic interactions to better assess tradeoffs in the management of forage species between the diet needs of dependent predators, the resilience of fishing communities, and maintenance of the forage species themselves, and (4) synthesis of how the environment affects efficiency and profitability in fishing communities, either directly via extreme events (e.g., storms) or indirectly via climate-driven changes in target species availability. We conclude by exemplifying an existing management process established on the U.S. West Coast that could be used to enable the structured, iterative, and interactive communication between managers, stakeholders, and modelers that is key to refining existing ecosystem models and analyses for management use.
Tommasi D, deReynier YL, Townsend H, Harvey CJ, Satterthwaite W, Marshall KN, Kaplan IC, Brodie S, Field J, Hazen E, et al. 2021. A Case Study in Connecting Fisheries Management Challenges With Models and Analysis to Support Ecosystem-Based Management in the California Current Ecosystem. Frontiers in Marine Science. 8:776. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.624161.