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Second-guessing uncertainty: Scenario planning for management of the Indian Ocean tuna purse seine fishery

Tim K. Davies, Chris C. Mees and E.J. Milner-Gulland

Marine Policy, 2015, vol. 62, issue C, 169-177

Abstract: An important task of natural resource management is deciding amongst alternative policy options, including how interventions will affect the dynamics of resource exploitation. Yet predicting the behaviour of natural resource users in complex, changeable systems presents a significant challenge for managers. Scenario planning, which involves thinking creatively about how a socio-ecological system might develop under a set of possible futures, was used to explore uncertainties in the future of the Indian Ocean tuna purse seine fishery. This exercise stimulated thinking on how key social, economic and environmental conditions that influence fleet behaviour may change in the future, and how these changes might affect the dynamics of fishing effort. Three storylines were explored: an increase in marine protection, growing consumer preference for sustainable seafood, and depletion of tuna stocks. Comparing across several possible future scenarios, a number of critical aspects of fleet behaviour were identified that should be important considerations for fishery managers, but which are currently poorly understood. These included a switch in fishing practices, reallocation of effort in space, investment in new vessels and exit from the fishery. Recommendations for future management interventions in the Indian Ocean were offered, along with suggestions for research needed to reduce management uncertainty.

Keywords: Scenario planning; Fisheries; Management; Uncertainty; Tropical tuna; Fleet dynamics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.09.019

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