Journal Article

Role of risk assessment in fish health policy and management

C. Stephen

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 374-379
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Role of risk assessment in fish health policy and management

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Fish health management occurs in a complex ecological and socio-economic system, in an uncertain and uncontrollable environment, and with a lack of empirical data. Increasingly, regional, national, and international policies require some form of risk assessment to help make reasonable decisions. Despite its increasing use and popularity, there are many criticisms of risk assessment as a basis for fish health management decisions. Underlying these criticisms are three common elements: (1) unrealistic expectations of the ability of risk assessments to identify the “right” decision; (2) inadequate predictive ability of fish health risk assessment models; and (3) the lack of integration or consideration of management, societal, and scientific concerns. Rather than abandoning risk assessment as a basis for management because of its quantitative limitations, the concept should be fully explored and applied in order to facilitate socially and ecologically relevant fish health management decisions. Moreover, efforts should be undertaken to educate managers and stakeholders as to the role of risk assessment in decision support and in exploring additional models for describing and assessing the impacts of fish health management decisions.

Keywords: assessment; decision; fish; health; management; risk

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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