Journal Article

Possible solutions to some challenges facing fisheries scientists and managers

Randall M. Peterman

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 8, pages 1331-1343
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Possible solutions to some challenges facing fisheries scientists and managers

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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The purpose of this paper is to review recent work on four key challenges in fisheries science and management: (1) dealing with pervasive uncertainties and risks; (2) estimating probabilities for uncertain quantities; (3) evaluating performance of proposed management actions; and (4) communicating technical issues. These challenges are exacerbated in fisheries that harvest multiple stocks, and various methods provide partial solutions to them: (i) risk assessments and decision analyses take uncertainties into account by permitting several alternative hypotheses to be considered at once. (ii) Hierarchical models applied to multi-stock data sets can improve estimates of probability distributions for model parameters compared with those derived through single-stock analyses. (iii) Operating models of complete fishery systems provide comprehensive platforms for testing management procedures. (iv) Finally, results from research in such other disciplines as cognitive psychology can facilitate better communication about uncertainties and risks among scientists, managers, and stakeholders.

Keywords: Bayesian; decision analysis; hierarchical model; Kalman filter; operating model; risk assessment; risk communication; uncertainty

Journal Article.  8812 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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