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Monday, January 28 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
(SYMPOSIA-01) A Portfolio Approach to Integrated Assessment and Research Can Provide a Larger Context for the Successful Evaluation of Fisheries Harvest Regulations

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AUTHORS: Martha E. Mather, U. S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; John M. Dettmers, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Roy A. Stein, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University; Donna L. Parrish, U.S. Geological Survey, Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Vermont; David Glover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Harvest regulations are essential tools that fisheries managers use to alter fish populations and achieve angler satisfaction. Evaluation of regulations is essential but evaluating all regulations for all species in all systems across multiple time periods is not logistically feasible. Thus, a strategic plan that identifies what regulations need to be evaluated where, when, and how can assist effective decision-making. Specifically, an integrated framework of assessment and research (i.e., the portfolio approach) can provide a larger context in which to design, implement, and interpret harvest regulation evaluations. Using examples, we illustrate this multi-step approach. First, a shared vision for individual fisheries (species, system, individual population, goal) that is jointly created by a collaborative group of researchers and managers is essential. Second, using a series of linked questions, objectives, and goals, the collaborative team can conceptualize (a) desired outcomes of specific harvest regulations given population characteristics, (b) challenges to achieving those outcomes, and (c) data needed to differentiate among population responses to regulations. Third, by applying a portfolio of interacting data types (e.g., assessment, applied research, basic science, synthesis), researchers and managers can operationalize a pathway to achieve the desired angler outcome given existing population conditions. Fourth, by using rigorous scientific principles, the team can improve all aspects of assessment and research. Specifically, a strategic plan that considers multiple starting population conditions, a range of harvest regulations, and different angler outcomes can integrate all assessment and research data to better inform management decisions. Fifth, adhering to a set of agreed-upon, regularly-evaluated 10-year goals allows fisheries professionals to track progress and plan next steps. Although agencies face different challenges across species, systems, and populations, all can advance successful science-based management by utilizing components of this portfolio approach for harvest regulation evaluation.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST