The effects of a management action that reduces the total allowable catch of a single species in a multi-species fishery often has unpredictable consequences on fishery economics. These potentially important effects can be explored using bioeconomic models that couple biological processes with a representation of fleet behavior that together determine expected biological and economic impacts. We applied a bioeconomic simulation framework to a complex multi-species fishery using a retrospective approach to take advantage of the available historical data on fleet behavior and economics, thereby reducing the guess-work inherent in predictions of human behavior in traditional forward-looking modeling approaches. While the retrospective model results are still speculative, we showed that catch limits informed by data-rich and data-deficient single-stock assessment techniques led to potentially beneficial fishing behavior for many species within a multi-species fishery, but had detrimental effects on two currently overfished species in the same stock complex. Incorporating simple fleet behaviors into assessment simulations can help identify optimum fishing strategies when resources are constrained, and should be considered in evaluation of alternative management strategies.
Christopher Cusack, Department of Applied Economics Oregon State University
Linsey Arnold, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University
Selina S. Heppell, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University
Michael Harte, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Gil Sylvia, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Oregon State University
Lenfest Ocean Program, Pew Charitable Trust, #001492