Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Activity 3.3 – Management option evaluation and selection
Overview of the activity
Having determined the set of operational objectives, indicators and performance measures for the fishery, the next action is to produce an agreed and coherent set of management measures that should generate acceptable levels of performance. This involves the identification of potential management options and some level of evaluation to determine which of these will be the most practical and appropriate given the fishery’s value, location and the level of resources available (human, financial and information).
The evaluation of which are the best options may simply involve the qualitative consideration of each option by those involved in the management of the fishery using some form of expert judgement. Alternatively, a number of quantitative methods are available to assist from quantitative stock/bioeconomic assessments that examine single objectives; Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) that includes management and stakeholder processes; up to Ecosystem and Agent-Based Models (ABMs) that can assess the management package against multiple objectives and a number of GIS based tools can assist in determining appropriate boundaries for spatially based management systems.
Clearly the more complex the assessment method the more demanding it is in data, time and resources.
Possible new management options could be identified through the use of existing management theories and manuals for the type of fishery being considered including a desk-top assessment of what has worked or not worked elsewhere in similar situations. There are numerous fisheries management manuals that outline the various types of management measures available. These can be divided into a number of categories based on the type of fishery control (e.g. gear-based or area-based measures, effort control or catch allocation), some cover specific issues (e.g. by-catch reduction, destructive fishing, post-harvest handling), some specific management methods (e.g. quotas, MPAs) and others governance measures (e.g. fisheries enforcement and compliance, safety at sea, community based, access rights, incentives). In addition to the formally documented options, inspiration could also come from the stakeholders themselves if the participation has been effective so mobilisation of traditional knowledge may be required and there are now manuals that outline Community Based Management options.
Evaluating options can be completed by collective expert judgement or expert panels using the collective thoughts those with direct experience in management. More formal methods, include cost-benefit analyses, which may involve some form of quantitative techniques. For single issues such as determining actions for stock management the more complicated methods involve the use of quantitative stock or bio-economic simulation models.
To simultaneously assess many issues expert advice is still useful with the simplest tool being Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). If the examination of the robustness of the management arrangements is to be formally examined, especially to include uncertainty about the management process, Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) approaches can be useful but only if there are sufficient data to support them. For even more data hungry approaches, there are a number of integrated assessment models some of which have reached a high level of complexity (e.g. Atlantis) which have just been reviewed by the FAO. For spatially based management systems there are now a large number of GIS based decision support tools that can assist in the selection of appropriate boundaries and zoning.
L= Low or Long; H= High; M= Medium, S=Short