Grand Challenge 4

Create guidelines for optimal management of marine resources to maximise profit and yield, now and in the future

Relevant Publications:


Bjørndal T, Lindroos M. 2011. Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Management of the Northeast Atlantic Cod Fishery. Journal of Bioeconomics. 14(1):41–60. Relevance: shows the importance of achieving international cooperation in the cod fishery by using a serially correlated recruitment function.

Diekert FK. 2012. Growth Overfishing: The Race to Fish Extends to the Dimension of Size. Environmental and Resource Economics. 52:549–572. Relevance: The individual growth potential of commercial fish is  an important margin of rent dissipation that has hitherto not been explicitly analysed from an economic, game-theoretic perspective. In this paper, it moreover shown that quotas in terms of numbers are far superior to conventional quotas in terms of biomass.

Diekert FK. 2012. The Tragedy of the Commons from a Game- Theoretic Perspective. Sustainability. 4:1776–1786. Relevance: Hardin’s metaphor of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ has been controversial. However it was instumental in inspiring a large literature that studies under which conditions rational actors find it in their own best interest to cooperate.

Kallio-Nyberg I, Salminen M, Saloniemi I, Lindroos M. 2011. Effects of marine survival, precocity and other life history traits on the cost- benefit of stocking salmon in the Baltic Sea. Fisheries Research. 110:111–119. Relevance: cost-benefit analysis to study the salmon stockings in the Baltic Sea.

Kronbak L, Lindroos M. 2011. On Species Preservation and Non- Cooperative Exploiters. Strategic Behavior and the Environment. 1:49–70. Relevance: Computes critical number of fishermen (players) in the case of species interaction so that both species are sustained in the long run.

Kulmala S, Lindroos M, Pintassilgo P. 2012. Atlantic salmon fishery in the Baltic Sea — A case of non-cooperative management. in Strategic Behavior and the Environment. Relevance: A partition function game application in a four-player bioeconomic model of Baltic salmon illustrates how international cooperation may sometimes be cooperation only on paper, not shown in real fisheries policy.

Nieminen E, Lindroos M, Heikinheimo O. 2012. Optimal Bioeconomic Multispecies Fisheries Management: A Baltic Sea Case Study. Marine Resource Economics. 27(2):115–136. Relevance: Three-species (cod, herring and sprat) dynamic optimisation model with age-structured dynamics illustrates how present management could be improved by taking into account species interactions.

Rahikainen M, Lindroos M, Kaitala V. 2012. Stability of international fisheries agreements using precautionary bioeconomic harvesting strategies. Strategic Behavior and the Environment. Relevance: Coalition model including harvest control rules, shows the importance of including international aspect in the development of harvest control rules.

Richter AP, van Soest DP. 2012. “Global environmental problems, voluntary action and government intervention.” In: “Governing Global Environmental Commons: Analytical and Political Challenges in Building Governance Mechanisms.” Brousseau E, Dedeurwaerdere T, Jouvet P-A, Willinger M (eds). Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 223–248. Relevance: The global community faces several very pressing environmental challenges such as climate change, depletion of the high-sea fisheries, and unprecedented rates of biodiversity loss. This chapter provides an overview of the literature on the circumstances under which governmental policy can crowd out protective action taken by private citizens and stakeholder and how policy can be designed to preserve the intrinsic motivation to act voluntarily.

Boonstra WJ, Joosse SM. 2013. The social dynamics of degrowth. Environmental Values. 22(2):171–189. Relevance: Societal adaptation to when natural resources become depleted

Boonstra WJ, Pham Thi Hong Nhung. 2012. The ghosts of fisheries management. Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. 4(1):1–25. Relevance: How the histories of fisheries can be used to improve management of marine resources.

Möllmann C, Lindegren M, Blenckner T, Bergström L, Casini M, Diekmann R, Flinkman J, Müller-Karulis B, Neuenfeldt S, Schmidt JO, Tomczak M, Voss R, Gårdmark A. 2013. Implementing ecosystem-based fisheries management: from single-species to integrated ecosystem assessment and advice for Baltic Sea fish stocks. ICES Journal of Marine Science. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst123 Relevance: This paper reviews the current integrated assessment of the Baltic Sea and provides recommedations for the next steps in ecosystem advice in the Baltic Sea and in general.

Österblom H, Folke C. 2013. Emergence of global adaptive governance for stewardship of regional marine resources. Ecology and Society. 18(2):4. Relevance: This paper describe and analyze the emergence of the socialecological governance system that made it possible to curb the fisheries crisis in the Southern Oceans which provides interesting insights into fishery mangement in general.

Österblom H, Merrie A, Metian M, Boonstra WJ, Blenckner T, Watson J, Rykaczewski R, Ota Y, Sarmiento J, Christensen V, Schlüter M, Birnbaum S, Gustafsson B, Humborg C, Mörth C-M, Müller-Karulis B, Tomczak M, Troell M, Folke C. 2013. Modeling Social-Ecological Scenarios in Marine Systems. Bioscience (in press). Relevance: This paper discuss the possibility to analyse marine systems using a scenario approach based on the social-ecological perspective and linking the results to different startegies of ecosystem- based manangement.

Kronbak L, Lindroos M. 2013. Allocation and sharing in international fisheries agreements. Food Economics. 9:186–198. Relevance: Review of game theory models that help international policy making and stabilise international fisheries agreements.

Heino M, Baulier L, Boukal DS, Ernande B, Johnston FD, Mollet F, Pardoe H, Therkildsen NO, Uusi-Heikkilä S, Vainikka A, Arlinghaus R, Dankel DJ, Dunlop ES, Eikeset AM, Enberg K, Engelhard GH, Jørgensen C, Laugen AT, Matsumura S, Nusslé S, Urbach D, Whitlock R, Rijnsdorp AD, Dieckmann U. 2013. Can fisheries-induced evolution shift reference points for fisheries management? ICES Journal of Marine Science. 70:707–721. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst077  Relevance: Adaptations to climate change will likely co-occur with evolutionary adaptation to other rapidly changing drivers, such as fishing. This paper discusses how fishing-induced evolution may change reference points used in fisheries management.

Le Bohec C, Whittington JD, Le Maho Y. 2013. Polar Monitoring: Seabirds as Sentinels of Marine Ecosystems, in ‘Adaptation and Evolution in Marine Environments.’ Volume 2. From Pole to Pole. Verde C, di Prisco G (eds). Springer-Vergal Berlin. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-27349-0_11 Relevance: This describes how top predators can be used to monitor ecosystems. Though the focus here is on seabirds, the approach is also relevant to marine predators.

Eikeset AM, Richter AP, Dunlop E, Dieckmann U, Stenseth NC. 2013. Economic repercussions of fisheries-induced evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. ISSN 0027-8424. 110(30):12259–12264. doi:10.1073/pnas.1212593110 Relevance: The optimal fishing mortality is almost identical for the evolutionary and nonevolutionary model and substantially lower than what it has been historically. Therefore, the costs of ignoring evolution under optimal management regimes are negligible. However, if fishing mortality is as high as it has been historically, evolutionary changes may result in economic losses, but only if the fishery is selecting for medium-sized individuals. Because evolution facilitates growth, the fish are younger and still immature when they are susceptible to getting caught, which outweighs the increase in productivity due to fish spawning at an earlier age.

Eikeset AM, Richter AP, Dankel D, Dunlop E, Heino MP, Dieckmann U, Stenseth NC. 2013. A bio-economic analysis of harvest control rules for the Northeast Arctic cod fishery. Marine Policy. ISSN 0308-597X. 39:172–181. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.10.020 Relevance: This paper show that the current Harvest control rules (HCR) does in fact comes very close to maximizing profits. Furthermore, the results reveal that the HCR that maximizes profits is the most precautionary one among the considered HCRs. Finally, the HCR that maximizes yield leads to un-precautionary low levels of biomass. In these ways, the implementation of the HCR for NEA cod can be viewed as a success story that may provide valuable lessons for other fisheries.

Laugen AT, Engelhard GH, Whitlock R, Arlinghaus R, Dankel D, Dunlop E, Eikeset AM, Enberg KS, Jørgensen C, Matsumura S, Nusslé S, Urbach D, Baulier L, Boukal D, Ernande B, Johnston F, Mollet F, Pardoe H, Therkildsen NO, Uusi-Heikkilä S, Vainikka, Heino MP, Rijnsdorp AD, Dieckmann U. 2012. Evolutionary impact assessment: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Fish and Fisheries. ISSN 1467-2960. 1–32. doi:10.1111/faf.12007 Relevance: We describe the evolutionary impact assessment (EvoIA) as a structured approach for assessing the evolutionary consequences of fishing and evaluating the predicted evolutionary outcomes of alternative management options. EvoIA can contribute to the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) by clarifying how evolution may alter stock properties and ecological relations, support the precautionary approach to fisheries management by addressing a previously overlooked source of uncertainty and risk, and thus contribute to sustainable fisheries.

Durant JM, Ottersen G, Stenseth NC. 2013. Impact of climate and fisheries on sub-Arctic stocks. Marine Ecology — Progress Series. ISSN 0171-8630. 480:199–203. doi:10.3354/meps10314 Relevance: The studies focus on how temperature- and fishing- induced changes in spatial and demographic population structure affect recruitment and population growth rate. The results suggest common patterns, but also highlight differences in the relative importance of fishing and climate among the populations and ecosystems examined.

Diekert FK. 2013. The growing value of age: exploring economic gains from age-specific harvesting in the Northeast Arctic cod fishery. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Relevance: The importance of a fish stock’s age structure is increas- ingly recognized in economics and ecology. Still, current policies predominantly rely on measures of the aggregate biomass. Here, a detailed bio-economic model is calibrated on the Northeast Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) fishery to assess the efficiency gains from controlling gear selectivity and explore them under a suite of different scenarios. While the absolute size of economic gains varies drastically with the particular biological modeling assumptions, the relative economic gains from age-differentiated management show that it is high time to move beyond traditional reference points.

Boonstra WJ, de Boer FW. 2013. The historical dynamics of social- ecological traps. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-013-0419-1 Relevance: This paper takes stock of studies using the trap metaphor. It argues that the concept includes time and history in the analysis, but only as background conditions and not as a factor of causality. Based on this comparison it concludes that conjunction of social and environmental events contributes profoundly to the production of trap processes. The paper further discusses the implications of this conclusion for policy intervention and outlines how future research might generalize insights from historical–sociological studies of traps.

Paasche Ø, Österblom H, Neuenfeldt S, Bonsdorff E, Brander K, Conley DJ, Durant JM, Eikeset AM, Goksøyr A, Jónsson S, Kjesbu OS, Anna Kuparinen A, Stenseth NC. 2015. Connecting the Seas of Norden. Nature Climate Change, 5(2), 89–92. Relevance: This paper is a highly relevant output from the Nordic Center of Excellence ’NorMER’ as it draws together senior scientists from both within NorMER and beyond in an effort to illustrate the ultimate goals of NorMER, namely to illustrate and understand the large-scale processes driving our Nordic marine regions under the influence of climate change. At the same time the paper presents novel opportunities and grand challenges for a future enlarged and deepened multidisciplinary Nordic research as a global show-case of adaptation to climate change scenarios in different regions with varying responses to the predicted climate changes.

Richter A, Grasman J. 2013. The transmission of sustainable harvesting norms when agents are conditionally cooperative. Ecological Economics, 93, 202–209. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.05.013 Relevance: One of the key properties of marine systems is that social and natural processes are intrinsically linked and mutually influence each other.  We develop a theoretical model that portrays a small community having joint access to a common resource, such as a fish stock. Individual agents face the temptation of higher profits by overexploiting the resource, while the diffusion of norms of cooperation takes place via interpersonal relations. Agents remain conditionally cooperative, unless other individuals are misbehaving already. We can observe a bubble of conditional cooperators slowly building up followed by a sudden burst, which means that a transition from a cooperative social norm to non-cooperation occurs. Interestingly, we find that the same community goes through such a transition repeatedly over long time spans — history thus repeats itself in the form of the creation and erosion of social capital.

Rocha J, Yletyinen J, Biggs R, Blenckner T, Peterson G. 2014. Marine regime shifts: drivers and impacts on ecosystems services. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1659), 20130273–20130273. doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0273 Relevance: Anthropogenic impacts, such as climate change, increase the processes that can drive marine systems to suddenly shift to persistent new regimes. This paper assesses the patterns of co-occurrence of drivers and ecosystem service consequences of marine regime shifts in order to inform better management strategies. 

Woods PJ, Holland DS, Marteinsdóttir G, Punt AE. 2015. How a catch–quota balancing system can go wrong: an evaluation of the species quota transformation provisions in the Icelandic multispecies demersal fishery ICES J. Mar. Sci.: fsv001v1-fsv001

Woods PJ, Bouchard C, Holland DS, Punt AE, Marteinsdóttir, G. 2015. Catch-quota balancing mechanisms in the Icelandic multi-species demersal fishery: Are all species equal? Marine Policy, 55, 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.01.004 Relevance: This set of papers (Woods 2014 and Woods 2015) analyzes regulations in the Icelandic demersal fishery that increase the industry's ability to adapt to unexpected outcomes of fishing (i.e., when the species composition caught does not exactly match the quota available). The first paper (Woods et al. 2015 in Marine Policy) establishes that the provisions have often been used but with no obvious detrimental effects on sustainability of fisheries resources, even though the increased adaptability also allows for routes of potential overexploitation. The second paper (Woods et al. 2015 in ICES J Mar Sci) highlights the conditions under which the risk of overexploitation is increased, so that situations leading to unintended overexploitation can be monitored for while implementing such a system in other locations. Therefore, they directly contribute to development of fisheries management policies that incorporate an ability to adapt to changing conditions of ocean resources while avoiding risks of overexploitation and decreased profit

Romagnoni G, Mackinson S, Hong J, Eikeset AM. 2015. The Ecospace model applied to the North Sea: Evaluating spatial predictions with fish biomass and fishing effort data. Ecological Modelling, 300(0), 50–60. doi: Relevance: Ecosystem models can be used for investigating spatial fisheries management, including optimisation of MPAs placement. This paper evaluates the performance of the spatial component of the ecosystem model Ecopath with Ecosim using data of species and fleets from the North Sea.

Blenckner T, Kannen A, Barausse A, Fischer C, Heymans J, Luisetti T, Todorova V, Valman M, Mee L. 2015. Past and future challenges in managing European seas. Ecology and Society 20(1): 40. Relevance: We focus on existing examples from social–ecological systems of European seas that can be used to inform and advise future management. Examples from the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea on long-term ecosystem changes caused by eutrophication and fisheries, as well as changes in management institutions, illustrate nonlinear dynamics in social–ecological systems. Furthermore, we present two major future challenges, i.e., climate change and energy intensification, that could further increase the potential for nonlinear changes in the near future. Practical tools for managers to address these challenges are presented, such as ensuring learning, flexibility, and networking in decision-making processes across sectors and scales.


Published Apr. 28, 2015 2:00 PM - Last modified May 6, 2015 11:47 AM