The behaviour of fisheries – the missing dimension in fisheries management
As biologists we spend a lot of time thinking about the biology of fisheries. We often lament that if it was left to us the fisheries crisis would never have happened - we have known how to set targets and limits for decades. However as Ray Hilborn often says if you want to manage fisheries you need to manage the fishers and not the fish. The key challenge to successful fisheries management is to understand the motivations and decision-making processes of fishers in order to provide the appropriate incentives to provide the desired management outcome.
Kirsten Abernethy is busy reconciling the divergent views of her three supervisors (an ecologist, and economist and a social scientist). When she is not doing that she is working in SW England, interviewing fishermen and getting them to participate in experimental lotteries to learn how they make decisions and weigh up risks.