WP 5 – Analysis of fishermen’s behavior to spatial management options and assessment of the economic and ecological performance of alternative spatial plans

Responsible: Francois Bastardie DTU-Aqua, Denmark

Objectives:

• to develop an operational modelling framework to analyze fishermen’s behaviour and predict their likely responses to spatial management options;

• to measure economic and ecological performance of alternative spatial plans by scenario evaluations including delineating locations and space limits that ensures certain levels of production to local fishers and farmers;

• to identify recommendations for a better integration of fisheries and aquaculture in MSP (link to WP6).

WP5 will develop an operational modelling framework to analyze fishers´ decision making and predict likely responses of fisheries to spatial management options. The WP should assess whether actual MSP measures could have adverse effects on important fisheries and further document potential best placements for priorities areas for fisheries that would minimize the effects on fishing or harbors communities. The developed tools operate with MSP-relevant resolution in time, space and fishing units with specific exploitation patterns and come together with a set of parameterization routines incorporated to a userfriendly interface handling high amounts of quantitative data in a unified modelling framework.

A first step will develop the fine-scaled mapping and the investigation of the determinants of the spatial distribution of fishing effort (random utility models, RUM), including data or predictive models on the distribution of the harvested resources. The WP may further measure how well the existing spatial patterns fit the optimal allocation of the fisheries predicted by spatial optimization tools e.g. MARXAN or given by site suitability index studies. In a second step, the WP framework will use and apply the identified drivers to predict the static spatial effort reallocation induced by the drivers in response to various spatial MSP settings. Wherever possible, a dynamic approach will be developed and further apply a discrete-time simulation tool (DISPLACE, a dynamic, spatial individual vessel-based modelling approach) (Bastardie et al., 2014) to further gain insights in predicting the displacement of the fishing effort and pressure in response to the alternative spatial plans.

A dynamic approach include by nature the cumulative propagated effects that may arise from the interlinked interactions of the ecological-economic fishery dynamics system such as displacement toward sensitive habitats, concentration of the pressure in a narrow space and consequences in cost for fishing, underlying stock developments, landing composition, etc. By including the fish and shellfish population dynamics and the responses of the fish populations to fishing the approach also evaluates the sustainability of the harvesting under spatial plan alternatives and potential external risks (low productivity scenarios, increased fuel prices, etc.). By accounting for parameters determining the fisher and vessel´s behaviour in each region, the framework could adapt to each case studies if the model builds upon flexible decisions trees and flow charts that fit to what drive and motivate the fishers during the fishing operations, possibly informed from the RUM, the regional stakeholder´s consultations and surveys.

The GRID web-application GIS tool platform managing information from CSs will provide the spatial information to both the static and the dynamic views. The WP will adopt a hierarchical analysis (e.g. GRID, RUM, DISPLACE) depending on the quality of available data from CSs and in cooperation with the other WPs. The WP will eventually support a quantitative analysis for the generalization of the impacts of the micro-decisions at the regional scale and document the analysis of costs and benefits from the perspective of the various fishing communities at stake when restrained by other utilization of the seas (aquaculture sites, shipping lanes or offshore constructions). In each CSs the alternative scenarios from ongoing regional spatial plans and alternatives will be ranked against fishery economic performance indicators and the essential areas and fishing locations that ensure certain levels of production to local fishers and farmers identified.