DISPLACE in the Adriatic Sea

We are setting the first steps in developing a fish and fisheries DISPLACE application for the northern Adriatic Sea in support of maritime spatial planning and management issues, especially from the perspective of the Italian coastal fisheries. The model provides a test platform for running Monte-Carlo simulations that project scenarios of alternative spatial management scenarios and fishing effort distributions. DISPLACE4AdriaticSea2We evaluate how fisheries revenues and environmental benefits are affected. This first application to the Adriatic Sea should provide technical inputs for the development of a bio-DISPLACE4AdriaticSeaeconomic model in order to guarantee effective science based inputs allowing policy improvement and better governance at cross-border level for fisheries management and marine spatial planning.

(Attached screenshots in this margin are very preliminary outcomes and should not be used to give any kind of advice)

How individual fishermen´s micro-decision-making affects the overall performance of fisheries

Fishermen´s micro-decision-making is challenged by fishery management and marine spatial plans and affects the overall performance of fisheries. Because of individual decisions and tactics for fishing (e.g. selection of gears, place and time) influence catching power, the fishermen have an individual footprint on the harvested stocks and benthic communities.

Also, fishermen have different objectives and strategies influencing economic and impact performance of the fishery for several stocks and ecosystem components and in different areas (e.g. here for carbon footprints, or here for impacts on seafloor). By regulating catch quotas, the deployed effort and potential fishing grounds, both fisheries management, and marine spatial plans can result in unintended consequences and incentives affecting the overall economic and energy performance of the fisheries at stake, which may further undermine the ecosystem approach to fisheries.

We intend to support the fishery sector and the policymakers with a benchmark tool for efficiently evaluating alternative scenarios in individual decision making, by designing decision trees to model when, where, how, and for how long they go fishing.

Continue reading “How individual fishermen´s micro-decision-making affects the overall performance of fisheries”

How spatial planning constrains cross-border fisheries: the bio-economic DISPLACE evaluation on the Baltic Sea

DISPLACE_striking_plotWith our approach we aim at modelling the interaction between fisheries and stock spatial dynamics and assessing the interlinked consequences on both the vessel economy and the viability and sustainability of the harvesting (including the issue of energy efficiency for greener fisheries). We explore  alternative fishing effort allocation scenarios and management options. As such, we are designing a benchmark tool for conducting management strategy evaluations to capture short-term economic reactions from individual fisherman tactical decision-making.

In the growing marine spatial planning (MSP) legislative context, concurrent uses of the sea are constraining the possibilities of displacing each vessel´s fishing activities. These new constraints call for studies that would empower the fishing industry with the right tools and knowledge to engage in fair MSP dialogues. We should consider the impact assessment and scenario evaluation of wider marine cross-sector use, exploitation of the marine environment and competition for space in a spatial evaluation tool and our ongoing evaluation is precisely dedicated to investigating this aspect.

Continue reading “How spatial planning constrains cross-border fisheries: the bio-economic DISPLACE evaluation on the Baltic Sea”

Participatory modeling of fisheries for supporting maritime spatial planning

No HorizonModelling the interactions between fishery and stock dynamics as well as the economic fishery importance on a highly spatial disaggregated scale like in DISPLACE, is useful in context of broader spatial planning, marine management, and stakeholder involvement.

It is important to develop supporting tools for impact evaluations that can inform all parties (scientists, stakeholders, and managers) on the overall fishing sector dynamics on a highly disaggregated scale to develop a collective understanding and common discussion platform based on quantitative predictions of impacts and beneficial/detrimental effects of any new spatial marine planning project . As such, the DISPLACE model can be used to obtain further information on fishermen behavior with direct input from stakeholders (e.g., here).

windmillsSuch an approach should foster management choices to be based on a more objective and transparent basis and on actual feedback from the stakeholders when they react to spatial planning. More participatory management requires quantitative support and a common platform for input that will likely promote good fishing practices and achieve better compliance with the regulations and where stakeholders can feel more engaged in the ecosystem-based fisheries management decision process (also advocated here).

The goal is to also inform managers with quantitative supports about the potential gain of spatial regulations against the cost for displacement when fishermen loose access to valuable fishing grounds and/or have to travel more to go fishing from their home harbor to make a living out of the catches.