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A Simulation Framework To Assess Management Trade-Offs Associated With Recreational Harvest Slots, Discard Mortality Reduction, and Bycatch Accountability in a Multi-Sector Fishery

June 01, 2022

We present a simulation framework for better understanding and implementing fisheries management decision making.

We developed a simulation framework to explore the combined effects of harvest slot regulations, reductions in recreational discard mortality rate, and alternate bycatch accountability approaches on fishery management performance measures.

Simulation results indicated a lowering in recreational discard mortality rate. Alone or combined with harvest slot regulations, may result in longer recreational fishing seasons, increased recreational catch rates, reduced dead discarded biomass, and an increase in the population of reproductively valuable older fish. 

Based on application to Gulf of Mexico red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), we demonstrate the trade-offs among competing management objectives and illustrate how reduced recreational discard mortality rates and allocation of catch quotas between recreational and commercial sectors based on total dead biomass versus landed catch alone can influence the efficacy of regulatory actions. 

We suggest increased use of simulation analyses is warranted to aid fisheries management decision making and can spur development of performance measures that better communicate trade-offs among the diverse objectives of stakeholders in multi-sector marine fisheries.

Bohaboy EC, Goethel DR, Cass-Calay SL, Patterson WF,. 2022. A simulation framework to assess management trade-offs associated with recreational harvest slots, discard mortality reduction, and bycatch accountability in a multi-sector fishery. Fisheries Research. Volume 250:106268.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2022.106268.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 05/04/2022

Fisheries Management