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MEPS 617-618:341-364 (2019)  -  DOI:

Value- and ecosystem-based management approach: the Pacific herring fishery conflict

Mimi E. Lam1,2,*, Tony J. Pitcher2, Szymon Surma2, Jeffrey Scott2, Matthias Kaiser1, April S. J. White3, Evgeny A. Pakhomov2,4,5, Lawrence M. Ward6

1University of Bergen, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, 5020 Bergen, Norway
2University of British Columbia, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z4
3Wind Spirit Art, Haida Gwaii, Canada V8A 2K8
4University of British Columbia, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z4
5Hakai Institute, Heriot Bay, Canada V0P 1H0
6University of British Columbia, Department of Psychology, Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z4
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We introduce an innovative value- and ecosystem-based management approach (VEBMA) that exposes resource policy tradeoffs, fosters good governance, and can help to resolve conflicts. We apply VEBMA to the Pacific herring Clupea pallasii fishery in British Columbia, Canada, which is mired in conflict between local and indigenous communities and the fishing industry over the management of herring, a forage fish with significant socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural value. VEBMA integrates an ecosystem-based approach (ecological modelling) with a value-based approach (practical ethics) to examine the ecological viability, economic feasibility, and societal desirability of alternative fishery management scenarios. In the ecosystem-based approach, we applied the Management Strategy Evaluation module within the Ecopath with Ecosim modelling framework to explore scenarios with harvest-control rules specified by various herring fishing mortalities and biomass cutoff thresholds. In the value-based approach, Haida Gwaii community and herring industry participants ranked a set of values and selected preferred scenarios and cutoff thresholds. The modelled ecological impacts and risks and stakeholder preferences of the scenarios are synthesized in a deliberation and decision-support tool, the VEBMA science-policy table. VEBMA aims to facilitate inclusive, transparent, and accountable decision-making among diverse stakeholders, such as local communities, industries, scientists, managers, and policy-makers. It promotes compromise, rather than consensus solutions to resolve ‘wicked’ problems at the science-policy interface.

KEY WORDS: Ecosystem-based management · Forage fish · Herring · Fishery impacts · Scenarios · Values · Science-policy interface · Tradeoffs · Decision-support tools

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Cite this article as: Lam ME, Pitcher TJ, Surma S, Scott J and others (2019) Value- and ecosystem-based management approach: the Pacific herring fishery conflict. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 617-618:341-364.

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