Integration of biological, economic and sociological knowledge by Bayesian belief networks: the interdisciplinary evaluation of potential Baltic salmon management plan

There is a growing need to evaluate fisheries management plans in a comprehensive interdisciplinary context involving stakeholders. In this paper we demonstrate a probabilistic management model to evaluate potential management plans for Baltic salmon fisheries. The analysis is based on several studies carried out by scientists from respective disciplines. The main part consisted of biological and ecological stock assessment with integrated economic analysis of the commercial fisheries. Recreational fisheries were evaluated separately. Finally, a sociological study was conducted aimed at understanding stakeholder perspectives and potential commitment to alternative management plans. In order to synthesize the findings from these disparate studies a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) methodology is used. The ranking of management options can depend on the stakeholder perspective. The trade-offs can be analysed quantitatively with the BBN model by combining, according to the decision maker’s set of priorities, utility functions that represent stakeholders’ views. We show how BBN can be used to evaluate robustness of management decisions to different priorities and various sources of uncertainty. In particular, the importance of sociological studies in quantifying uncertainty about the commitment of fishermen to management plans is highlighted by modelling the link between commitment and implementation success.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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