FishPath is a fisheries management tool that guides the selection of context-appropriate management strategies. FishPath is being developed by fishery scientists and practitioners through a Science for Nature and People (SNAP) working group. The FishPath tool integrates user-specified inputs regarding social, economic, biological, ecological, and governance characteristics of a fishery into a framework for identifying a subset of recommended monitoring, assessment, and management interventions. The FishPath team is testing and refining the tool through agreements with the governments of Peru and Kenya to guide fisheries management implementation for several data-limited fisheries in their coastal waters.
As part of this process, a team of researchers affiliated with Murdoch University and The Nature Conservancy is using DLMtool to perform a management strategy evaluation to guide decision-making on a suite of FishPath outputs. The use of DLMtool allows for the quantitative evaluation of FishPath’s recommended management strategies to identify those that will satisfy the performance goals for the fishery (e.g., long-term yield, stability in catch, sustainable biomass). Once identified, DLMtool can be used to apply the best-performing management strategies using available fisheries data to produce specific management advice (e.g., changes in catch limits, fishing effort, size limits, and/or spatial controls for the fishery). DLMtool’s value of information function can also help fishery managers analyze the relative value of collecting different types of additional data that can improve management in years to come.
According to Dr. Jono Wilson of The Nature Conservancy:
“The FishPath team is excited to use DLMtool in order to provide an additional layer of understanding to the selection and implementation of appropriate management strategies. The DLMtool will allow us to quantitatively evaluate our options such that concrete guidance can be implemented in a timely manner. The integration of FishPath and DLMtool offers an incredible opportunity to incorporate two innovative approaches to improve fisheries management. FishPath guides the process of selecting the appropriate management strategies and DLMtool provides the platform for comparing the selected options in a quantitative framework.”