Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 29, Number 2, April-June 2016
Symposium of the Association Française d'Halieutique (2015)
|Number of page(s)
|30 September 2016
Reconciling complex system models and fisheries advice: Practical examples and leads
1 IFREMER Ecologie et modèles pour l’halieutique, Rue de l’île d’Yeu, BP 2011, 44311 Nantes Cedex 03, France
2 IFREMER Halieutique Manche Mer du Nord, 150 Quai Gambetta, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 7 December 2015
Accepted: 3 July 2016
The move toward an ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) requires new operational tools in order to support management decisions. Among them, ecosystem- and fisheries-based models are critical to quantitatively predict the consequences of future scenarios by integrating available knowledge about the ecosystem across different scales. Despite increasing development of these complex system models in the last decades, their operational use is still currently limited in Europe. Many guidelines are already available to help the development of complex system models for advice yet they are often ignored. We identified three main impediments to the use of complex system models for decision support: (1) their very complexity which is a source of uncertainty; (2) their lack of credibility, (3) and the challenge of communicating/transferring complex results to decision makers not accustomed to deal with multivariate uncertain results. In this paper, we illustrate these somehow theoretical “best practices” with tangible successful examples, which can help the transfer of complex system models from academic science to operational advice. We first focus on handling uncertainty by optimizing model complexity with regards to management objectives and technical issues. We then list up methods, such as transparent documentation and performance evaluation, to increase confidence in complex system models. Finally, we review how and where complex system models could fit within existing institutional and legal settings of the current European fisheries decision framework. We highlight where changes are required to allow for the operational use of complex system models. All methods and approaches proposed are illustrated with successful examples from fisheries science or other disciplines. This paper demonstrates that all relevant ingredients are readily available to make complex system models operational for advice.
Key words: Ecosystem-based fisheries management / complex models / decision support / methodological solutions / participatory modeling / model sensitivity analysis / examples
© EDP Sciences 2016
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