Implementation of a framework for multi-species, multi-objective adaptive management in Delaware Bay

Implementation of a framework for multi-species, multi-objective adaptive management in Delaware Bay Decision analytic approaches have been widely recommended as well suited to solving disputed and ecologically complex natural resource management problems with multiple objectives and high uncertainty. However, the difference between theory and practice is substantial, as there are very few actual resource management programs that represent formal applications of decision analysis. We applied the process of structured decision making to Atlantic horseshoe crab harvest decisions in the Delaware Bay region to develop a multispecies adaptive management (AM) plan, which is currently being implemented. Horseshoe crab harvest has been a controversial management issue since the late 1990s. A largely unregulated horseshoe crab harvest caused a decline in crab spawning abundance. That decline coincided with a major decline in migratory shorebird populations that consume horseshoe crab eggs on the sandy beaches of Delaware Bay during spring migration. Our approach incorporated multiple stakeholders, including fishery and shorebird conservation advocates, to account for diverse management objectives and varied opinions on ecosystem function. Through consensus building, we devised an objective statement and quantitative objective function to evaluate alternative crab harvest policies. We developed a set of competing ecological models accounting for the leading hypotheses on the interaction between shorebirds and horseshoe crabs. The models were initially weighted based on stakeholder confidence in these hypotheses, but weights will be adjusted based on monitoring and Bayesian model weight updating. These models were used together to predict the effects of management actions on the crab and shorebird populations. Finally, we used a dynamic optimization routine to identify the state dependent optimal harvest policy for horseshoe crabs, given the possible actions, the stated objectives and our competing hypotheses about system function. The AM plan was reviewed, accepted and implemented by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 2012 and 2013. While disagreements among stakeholders persist, structured decision making enabled unprecedented progress towards a transparent and consensus driven management plan for crabs and shorebirds in Delaware Bay. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Implementation of a framework for multi-species, multi-objective adaptive management in Delaware Bay

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/implementation-of-a-framework-for-multi-species-multi-objective-NeE0cukGlH
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Decision analytic approaches have been widely recommended as well suited to solving disputed and ecologically complex natural resource management problems with multiple objectives and high uncertainty. However, the difference between theory and practice is substantial, as there are very few actual resource management programs that represent formal applications of decision analysis. We applied the process of structured decision making to Atlantic horseshoe crab harvest decisions in the Delaware Bay region to develop a multispecies adaptive management (AM) plan, which is currently being implemented. Horseshoe crab harvest has been a controversial management issue since the late 1990s. A largely unregulated horseshoe crab harvest caused a decline in crab spawning abundance. That decline coincided with a major decline in migratory shorebird populations that consume horseshoe crab eggs on the sandy beaches of Delaware Bay during spring migration. Our approach incorporated multiple stakeholders, including fishery and shorebird conservation advocates, to account for diverse management objectives and varied opinions on ecosystem function. Through consensus building, we devised an objective statement and quantitative objective function to evaluate alternative crab harvest policies. We developed a set of competing ecological models accounting for the leading hypotheses on the interaction between shorebirds and horseshoe crabs. The models were initially weighted based on stakeholder confidence in these hypotheses, but weights will be adjusted based on monitoring and Bayesian model weight updating. These models were used together to predict the effects of management actions on the crab and shorebird populations. Finally, we used a dynamic optimization routine to identify the state dependent optimal harvest policy for horseshoe crabs, given the possible actions, the stated objectives and our competing hypotheses about system function. The AM plan was reviewed, accepted and implemented by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 2012 and 2013. While disagreements among stakeholders persist, structured decision making enabled unprecedented progress towards a transparent and consensus driven management plan for crabs and shorebirds in Delaware Bay.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off