The purpose of this project was to develop precautionary management methods for new or lightly exploited fisheries. The project was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, new Bayesian statistical and decision analysis methods were developed to derive precautionary effort-based management strategies for such fisheries. These have been published in a series of papers in the primary literature. The second phase consisted of two case studies. The first was of the newly discovered Namibian orange roughy fishery. The Bayesian methods developed in the first phase were applied to data from the fishery, and these were used annually by the advisory group appointed by the Namibian government to recommend annual TACs. A project scientist participated in this group. The new methods were disseminated to Namibian fishery scientists via tutorial workshops and the final assessment paper was written jointly with a Namibian scientist. The second case study was of the Tongan seamount fishery for snappers and groupers. The project funded continued collection of detailed fishery statistics and these were analysed to show that the fishery remained lightly to moderately exploited. A software package was developed to model the fishery and evaluate alternative management strategies. A policy of effort-based management, allied with closure of individual seamounts where necessary, was shown to provide sustainable and equitable management. The results and management guidelines were disseminated at a series of regional workshops.
Marine Resources Assessment Group Ltd, Fisheries Management Science Programme, Department for International Development, London, UK, 45 pp.