The next phase of fisheries management
Incorporating existing tools that focus on evaluating fishery health should help determine the best path forward for the fish and the fishery.
Traditional fisheries management is a two-step process: First, scientists conduct stock assessments, and then fishery managers negotiate measures, such as catch quotas, to make sure that the resource—the targeted fish—is being used optimally and sustainably. While this seems simple enough, the current approach has too often proved ineffective in its implementation.
An alternative approach, known as “harvest strategies” or “management procedures,” is emerging as the next innovation in fisheries management. Incorporating existing tools such as monitoring programs and reference points that focus on evaluating fishery health, as well as new tools such as harvest control rules, harvest strategies bring all the pieces together and provide managers with an improved lens through which to determine the best path forward for the fish and the fishery.