New Fisheries Management Method Benefits Industry and Ocean Health

Animation explains management strategy evaluation—and how oversight bodies are using it

New Fisheries Management Method Benefits Industry and Ocean Health
Management Strategy Evaluation

Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are increasingly developing and adopting a modernized system of management known as harvest strategies. This approach shifts managers’ focus from short-term quota-setting to a set of pre-agreed rules designed to achieve longer-term objectives, such as maximizing both catch and the likelihood of achieving and maintaining a healthy stock. At the heart of harvest strategies is a tool called management strategy evaluation (MSE), which scientists use to test different harvest strategies and determine which is most likely to achieve the RFMO’s objectives.

While MSE significantly improves managers’ understanding of the trade-offs of  pursuing different goals—and of the best path forward—the mathematical modeling that underpins MSE is highly complex. To help managers and other stakeholders better grasp MSE, The Ocean Foundation’s International Fisheries Conservation Project has developed a new animation that clearly describes the innerworkings of MSE and illustrates how the MSE tool is a critical component of any effective harvest strategy.

Rachel Hopkins leads The Pew Charitable Trusts’ advocacy to improve the management of international fisheries by regional fisheries management organizations. 

States of Innovation

Tuna
Tuna

Harvest Strategies: The Next Phase of Fisheries Management

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A novel approach, known as “harvest strategies” or “management procedures,” is emerging as the next innovation in fisheries management. 

Harvest Strategies
Harvest Strategies
Issue Brief

Harvest Strategies: 21st Century Fisheries Management

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Issue Brief

Traditional fisheries management is a two-step process: First, scientists conduct stock assessments, and then fishery managers negotiate measures, such as quotas or time-area closures, to make sure that the resource—the targeted fish—is being used optimally and sustainably. While this seems simple enough, the current approach is anything but.

Fishery Management
Fishery Management
Fact Sheet

Management Strategy Evaluation for Fisheries

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Fact Sheet

Management strategy evaluation (MSE) is a tool that scientists and managers can use to simulate the workings of a fisheries system and allow them to test whether potential harvest strategies—or management procedures— can achieve pre-agreed management objectives. In so doing, MSE helps to determine the harvest strategy likely to perform best. That means the strategy would perform well, regardless of uncertainty, and balance trade-offs amid competing management objectives. Around the world, fisheries are moving toward management based on harvest strategies to increase long-term sustainability, stability and profitability. MSE must be an integral component of the process to ensure that the chosen strategy can achieve its objectives.