Using FLBEIA for bio-economic management strategy evaluation

New ICES training course facilitates the implementation of MSE analysis using FLBEIA.
Published: 1 March 2019

​​​Students gathered at ICES Headquarters to take part in a new course this week.

What is FLBEIA

FLBEIA is a simulation model, developed at AZTI, to carry out bio-economic impact assessments of fisheries management strategies. It is a tool that follows the management strategy evaluation (MSE) approach and as such it allows the simulation of the whole fisheries management process from data collection to stock assessment to advice and finally, implementation. Users can assess management strategies, from both the biological and economic perspectives, facilitating decision-making in the medium and long-term. FLBEIA has been used in several areas from the Strait of Gibraltar to the North Sea and from the Red Sea to the Northwest Atlantic.

The right time

This is the first time that ICES have run a training course on Bio-Economic Management Strategy Evaluation using FLBEIA. Dorleta Garcia, one of the course instructors, explained the timeliness, “ICES has a large community for which this tool is useful - those working in fisheries, those using management strategy evaluation (MSE), for mixed-fisheries assessments – and as there has been a movement towards introducing economics in fisheries advice this kind of tool can be very useful".

Both instructors, Dorleta Garcia and Sonia Sánchez, are Sustainable Fisheries Management researchers at AZTI-Tecnalia, Spain. Garcia, works mainly in bio-economic modelling of fisheries systems and stock assessment. FLBEIA has been developed by a multidisciplinary team in AZTI led by Garcia. Sánchez, who works in MSE and stock assessment, has also been a member of the FLBEIA development team since its inception.

From the Atlantic to the Pacific 

The course has attracted a diverse group of biologists and economists from the ICES region and further afield, bringing a mix of different points of view and interests to the course. 

Julia Magdalena Wouters from the University of Aberdeen, UK is doing a PhD on the use of data from Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) (CCTV cameras on fishing boats) in stock assessments, "I would like to use the FLBEIA tool to compare a management strategy integrating REM with current management strategies. I will bring back a lot of new ideas and tools concerning FLBEIA and other FLR packages".

Paul Bouch from the Marine Institute, Ireland works on a number of  Irish and EU projects that will use FLBEIA to model mixed-fisheries in the Celtic Sea. "This seemed a perfect opportunity to develop my understanding of the package so that I can work with other researchers and develop the models for these projects. I'm planning on using FLBIEA quite intensively over the next couple of years."

Stephen Stohs, NOAA, US is an economist in the NOAA Fisheries National MSE Working Group where some dscussion regards the integration of economic considerations into MSEs. "The course is of particular interest to me since FLBEIA is one of the first MSE platforms to incorporate economic elements to its modeling capabilities. This course has provided me with the opportunity to learn about how MSEs are conducted in the ICES area, and to gain an understanding of how FLBEIA handles economics."

Camilo Torres Almuna, IFOP, Chile, explained his participation was due to “the use of FLBEIA being fundamental in achieving economic results, particularly in the demersal crustacean fishery of Chile, which we are addressing. Learning advanced techniques in bioeconomic modeling will allow us to strengthen the current analysis, in order to move towards an ecosystem approach to fisheries management".

Garcia and Sánchez are happy that those on the course will leave, not only with a good understanding of how to work in FLBEIA but also how the tool is built.

Supporting crosscutting science

ICES training courses play an important part in securing our future as a world-class marine science organization and network. We will provide more and better networking and training opportunities and encourage engagement of a new and emerging generation of scientists with expert groups. 

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Using FLBEIA for bio-economic management strategy evaluation

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