Harvest Strategy: 4th Technical Workshop and 7th Stakeholder Workshop October 30 – November 2, 2017
Last month during four days of meetings in Bogor, Indonesia made progress towards developing a harvest strategy for its tuna fisheries.
Before we dive into what happened in the meetings, let’s review what a harvest strategy is. In brief, “Harvest strategies are pre-agreed upon frameworks for making fisheries management decisions, such as setting quotas,” (Pew Trust). According to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, “A harvest strategy is a framework that specifies pre-determined management actions for a defined species necessary to achieve the agreed ecological, economic and/or social objectives.” The aim of a harvest strategy (like most fisheries management tools) is to maintain commercial fish stocks at environmentally sustainable levels and to maximise the economic returns.
Harvest strategies generally involve a monitoring program, a stock assessment method, reference points (or other fishery indicators), and harvest control rules. There can be many different harvest strategies based on these data, analyses, and chosen management options. To compare these potential harvest strategies, simulations are run to compare the likely performance of each strategy. This helps guide the process of harvest strategy development.
To learn more, visit: www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2015/06/harvest-strategies-the-next-phase-of-fisheries-management or https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/sustainable-fisheries-strategy/harvest-strategy.
Moving Toward a Harvest Strategy
The technical meeting brought together scientists from the government, Australia, WCPFC (The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission), and a few NGOs to discuss progress and potential harvest strategies. It has taken a long time to even reach this point, because Indonesia’s fisheries are data-poor, and it is difficult to develop potential harvest strategies when data is limited. However, time series data collected by WPEA (West Pacific East Asia Project), SDI (Sumber Daya Ikan), CSIRO and MDPI, have helped produce adequate data to feed into Indonesia’s Harvest Strategy Management Startegy Evaluation process. This potential harvest strategy is still in development and has been a combined effort by the Indonesian government with help from Australian scientists at CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), WCPFC, MDPI and others. As the process, which is ongoing since 2014, has now completed its development phase and aims to move into implementation phase in 2018 and beyond, we were delighted to hear that CSIRO will kick off a 4 year project focused on Harvest Strategy and Management Strategy Evaluation process for Indonesia.
At the stakeholder meeting, the scientists’ findings were presented along with a draft framework for an interim harvest strategy. This interim measure will encourage data collection to continue, which will allow for the refinement of potential harvest strategies and the development of Harvest Control Rules.
Overall the meeting was a positive and informative experience. The government emphasized the importance of collaboration moving forward in order to develop effective harvest strategy. MDPI will continue to support these efforts with our data and participation, as we continue to work toward happy people and many fish!
Writer: Allison Stocks