Uncertainty and Precautionary Management of Marine Fisheries: Can the Old Methods Fit the New Mandates? Public Deposited

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  • Continued stock declines in marine fisheries have resulted in a search for more risk-averse management approaches. In response, the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 mandates habitat protection, bs catch reduction, and stock rebuilding. These changes emphasize precaution, and imply a shift in focus from maximizing yields to minimizing ecological impacts and maintaining long-term biological and economic sustainability: Unfortunately: there is little consensus on how a precautionary approach should be applied in managing overcapitalized marine fisheries, especially considering the substantial uncertainty in our understanding of ecosystem structure and function, and the effects of fishing. Speakers in a half-day symposium at the 1999 AFS Annual Meeting discussed a spectrum of: topics relating to analytic and decision-making uncertainty, precautionary management approaches, the social and political context in which decisions must be reached and the role of management decisions in creating incentives. New approaches within the current decision-making context show some promise for reducing uncertainty and becoming more risk-averse. However, past lessons force us to conclude that the old methods will not satisfy the new mandates for risk-averse management approaches that are robust to both uncertainty regarding the effects of fishing on the ecosystem, and uncertainty regarding the effects of regulations on those being regulated. This paper is a synthesis of the diverse views of nine symposium participants. Speakers and the titles of their payers are shown in the acknowledgments.
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  • Weeks, H., & Berkeley, S. (2000, December). Uncertainty and Precautionary Management of Marine Fisheries: Can the Old Methods Fit the New Mandates? Fisheries, 25(12), 6-15.
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