- ISBN: 978-92-9202-204-4, doi: 10.2826/310821
- Publication date
- 15 January 2016
- Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
The management objective of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is to achieve high long-term yields with a high probability of stocks not being overfished, of no overfishing occurring and with a low probability of stocks being outside safe biological limits. Harvest Control Rules (HCRs) are a set of pre-agreed rules to determine annual Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and could be used as a management instrument to reach the goal of ICCAT. HCRs need to be agreed by policymakers and stakeholders, which is often difficult to achieve due to many uncertainties inherent to fisheries. To help managers designing appropriate HCRs, Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) is often used. The MSE framework reproduces the different sources of uncertainty in the fisheries and biological system and allows making a comparative assessment of the performance of alternative HCRs in achieving the management objectives. In this study, an MSE for North Atlantic albacore was developed and simulations were performed to assess the impact of alternative HCRs. The study highlights some of the options leading to stable high long term yields while meeting conservation objectives. The grounds for an MSE framework for Atlantic bigeye is also presented, which may facilitate the decision making process over the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). The results produced have already contributed to the ongoing dialogue between scientists and policymakers in ICCAT and other tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, and are expected to do so in the future.