Integrated Assessment of Fisheries

This project is developing tools that integrate the biological, social, and economic aspects of fishery systems to help create management systems that promote sustainable fisheries

Credit: Stockvault © Credit: Stockvault

Credit: Stockvault

Many aquatic food resources worldwide are not sustainable because of overfishing and improper resource management. There is widespread political agreement that sustainable development of fisheries requires a comprehensive, ecosystem-based approach that looks beyond the traditional focus on yields and profits. Much research needs to be done to develop evaluation strategies for fisheries management that are based on integrated assessments.

To move toward this goal, fishery systems must be recognized as being comprised of at least four subsystems that are connected in a powerful feedback loop – the natural system, the resulting ecosystem services, the management system, and the relevant socioeconomic system.  Each subsystem consists of complex components that deal with everything from multi-species population dynamics to multi-fleet fisheries.

This project addresses the missing interdisciplinary links in fisheries science and develops tools for integrated bio-socio-economic assessments of fishery systems.

The goal is to alter the widespread practice of assessing a fishery’s biological subsystem in quantitative detail, while human dimensions and ecosystem services are considered only qualitatively.  As a proof of principle, a case study of the Norwegian cod and capelin fisheries has demonstrated how integrated assessments can reconcile conflicting interests by identifying management regulations that satisfy seemingly disparate objectives across a variety of stakeholders.

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Last edited: 21 January 2019


Mikko Heino

Associate Senior Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Associate Senior Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Darina Zlatanova

Program and Project Officer Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Program and Project Officer Advancing Systems Analysis Program


2011 - 2015

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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