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Sustainability, stakeholders, and solutions - Dorothy Dankel on Theme Session H

ICES hears from Theme Session H presenter Dorothy Dankel about resolutions to stakeholder conflicts over the best ways to sustainably harvest fish stocks.
Published: 1 September 2013

​​​​​​Sustainability in fisheries management is a formidable goal for policy makers. One challenge for scientists is to define and design candidates for management plans and harvest control rules (HCRs) in accordance with the precautionary approach​ (environmental protection through decision-taking in the case of risk) that conform with long-term sustainable exploitation. These HCRs must also extend beyond the realm of fish stock sustainability into that of the environmental, the social, and the economic.​

But while sustainable development of renewable natural resources is a goal shared by scientists, policy-makers, and stakeholders, inherent conflicts (e.g. yield maximization vs. conservation interests) prove regular stumbling blocks on the road to reaching it.​​​​​​​

Stakeholder consensus is promoted when it is recognized that some seemingly conflicting objectives may be compatible (e.g. economic profit and ecosystem preservation). Work by Dorothy J. Dankel (IMR, Norway), Mikko Heino (IMR), Ulf Dieckmann (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria), to be presented in Reykjavík, will outline a quantitative route to reconciling such conflicts through integrated assessments.

By linking a biological model with a socio-economic one, both calibrated for the Norwegian capelin and cod single-species fisheries in the Barents Sea, Dankel et al. lay out multiple objectives by working out utility​​​​​​​​​​​ functions for five stakeholder groups, using the results to assess different management options.

The outcome shows that, for both cod and capelin, suitably low harvest rates and minimum-size regulations selected for larger fish bring about surprisingly high joint stakeholders satisfaction, with the least satisfied among five modeled stakeholder groups reaching a respective 93% and 90% of their maximum achievable utility.

Addressing the uncertainties linked with stakeholder preferences and environmental fluctuations further demonstrates that stakeholder satisfaction is more robust when it comes to cod than it is with capelin.

This unique approach aids the involvement of stakeholders in fishery management as well as the formulation of sustainable plans which consider biological, economic and social dimensions.

Theme Session H runs 26-27 September in Harpa's Silfurberg B​ room​

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Sustainability, stakeholders, and solutions - Dorothy Dankel on Theme Session H

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