Management characteristics of sustainable fisheries

Along with variation in the biological status of marine populations and the socioeconomic status of fisheries around the world, there is also variation in how management systems are designed and how they currently operate. The work of our research team at the University of Washington seeks to understand how specific characteristics of fisheries management and governance affect the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of fisheries. To this extent, we are compiling a database of detailed fishery management attributes to pair with the stock-specific biological data compiled in the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Database. Examples of this work include:

  • An analysis of the effectiveness of fisheries management systems around the world at meeting objectives, based on expert surveys. A “Fisheries Management Index” (FMI) covering research, management, enforcement, and socioeconomic dimensions of fisheries was calculated for fish stocks from 28 countries, and was used in the 2015 Coastal Governance Index. We quantified the influence of specific management attributes on the current status and trends in fish biomass and fishing pressure. see abstract
  • An analysis led by Chris Costello at UCSB looking at the future trajectories of biomass, catch, and fishing profits for fish stocks around the world under a variety of alternative management regimes. see abstract
  • A meta-analysis led by Maite Pons at UW looking at the status of tuna and billfish stocks around the world in relation to several management measures. see abstract
  • A novel method for reconstructing ex-vessel prices of fished species based on export prices of fish commodities. This work is published here and the source code is maintained by Tyler Clavelle on GitHub
  • A meta-analysis of groundfish stocks from Alaska, BC, and the continental US west coast. Success in meeting management targets was realised through different approaches in different regions, and stock value was a strong predictor of sustainable productivity.  see paper or get pdf
  • When assessing how management systems around the world may be impacted by climate change, we found that the oceanic areas expected to have the greatest climate impacts on populations tend to contain fisheries that demonstrate the greatest potential for adaptability in management.  see abstract

Our work is related to that of a larger network of fisheries scientists which formed a Working Group at NCEAS under the SNAPP program, entitled “Measuring the status of fisheries and factors leading to success