SC06-Reference points, harvest control rules and management strategy evaluation in tuna regional fisheries management organisations

Purpose of the Study

The objective of the study is to provide a review and a critical analysis of the reference points used within the different tuna-RFMOs and how Harvest Control Rules and Management Strategy Evaluation have been developed within these tuna-RFMOs. The study should also propose further improvements to the current framework and develop case studies to examine implications of current Harvesting Strategies and to develop MSE options and preliminary models for tropical tunas.

Duration of the study

The duration of this study is from June 2017 to June 2018

Scope of the Study

The geographical scope of the study is the Atlantic, The Indian and the Pacific Oceans

Tasks to be performed

Task 1: Reference points. The study will provide an inventory of reference points for all tuna stocks. Use of reference points between tuna-RFMOs will be analysed for their consistency and the basis for their establishment, including the strengths and weaknesses of individual reference points. The correspondence between different types of reference points will be assessed taking into account relevant factors such as the stock status and the exploitation patterns of different fisheries. Several case studies will provide examples of different types of reference points for the same tuna stock in different conservation status and harvested by different fisheries.

Task 2: Harvest control rules. The study will provide an inventory of what types of HCRs (management procedures) have been proposed, tested or applied in tuna-RFMOs (e.g. model based or model free HCRs). The strengths and weaknesses of different types of HCR (existing and under development) will be analysed for tuna stocks taking into account different factors such as data availability, types of fisheries and management system. It will further be considered how HCRs could be developed taking into account multispecies interactions and mixed fisheries.

Task 3: Management Strategy Evaluation. A review of the development of Management Strategy Evaluation across tuna RFMOs. For this, we will:

-Analyse how the MSE has been proposed and developed across tRFMOs,

-Review how the MSE components (Operating Models, Management Procedures and performance statistics) have been developed, by analysing how MSE has been used to support the adoption of HCRs and

-Propose alternatives for improving MSE frameworks across tRFMOs.

Task 4: Three tRFMOs will be used as case studies to provide a more detailed picture of the MSE process and its development in each of the tRFMOs, including WCPFC, ICCAT and IOTC.  The main objectives of the case studies are to understand the MSE approaches considered, their implications, and progress so far but also consider additional options that can support the MSE process.



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