A stochastic viability approach to ecosystem-based fisheries management
Academia and management agencies show a growing interest for ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM). However, the way to operationalize this approach remains challenging. The present paper illustrates how the concepts of stochastic co-viability, which accounts for dynamic complexities, uncertainties, risk and sustainability constraints, can be useful for the implementation of EBFM. In the present case, this concept is used to identify fishing strategies that satisfy both ecological conservation and economic sustainability in a multi-species, multi-fleet context. Economic Viability Analysis (EVA) and the broader Co-Viability Analysis (CVA), are proposed to expand the usual Population Viability Analysis (PVA) and precautionary approach. An illustration is proposed, using data on the fisheries of Bay of Biscay (France) exploiting the stocks of nephrops and hake. Stochastic simulations show how CVA can guarantee both ecological (stock) and economic (profit) sustainability. Using 2008 as a baseline, the model is used to identify fishing efforts that ensure such co-viability.
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