This paper explores the policy efforts dealing with the problem of declining Pacific Northwest fish runs. Results have been disappointing. Decades of expensive efforts costing billion of dollars have been relatively ineffective in increasing salmon runs. Many species of wild fish continue to decline or remain significantly below target levels of recovery. The issue of scientific and economic uncertainties is examined. Past and current policies have failed to adequately account for these uncertainties. One overall recommendation of this paper is that policymakers and their advisors should explicitly identify any decision criteria upon which they base their judgments or conclusions. A second recommendation is that policy analysis should be explicit about uncertainties. We offer the eighteen decision rules for fashioning fish recovery decisions in an environment of uncertainty.
Katz, M., P. Koss and J. Shawcross. Addressing Fish Uncertainty: The Quest for Rational Decisionmaking. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.