The science of fisheries management

For the first time, the use of management science in fisheries has been captured in a book.

For the first time, the use of management science in fisheries has been captured in a book.

In 2012 Charlie Edwards set out to capture “an idea that has been circulating around fisheries literature since the 1970s and no-one has ever written a book on it”.

Four years later, the result is the 460-page “Management Science in Fisheries: an introduction to simulation-based methods”, published by the prestigious British academic publisher Routledge.

“The next generation of scientists coming through thought it would be a good idea to collect all of the knowledge into one place and create a resource for future work,” says Charlie, a scientist in the Fisheries Modelling team at Greta Point.

“The idea started when I was at Imperial College in London and a lot of the credit for it is due to my supervisor, EJ Milner-Gulland, who’s now at Oxford. She had a contact with Routledge, which enabled me to start the conversation. They suggested a co-editor to give the book more global reach, and so I contacted Dorothy J. Dankel from the University of Bergen in Norway.”

The book has contributions from 61 authors around the world, including case studies ranging from southern blue-fin tuna, turtles in the Pacific, sablefish in British Columbia, South African sardine and anchovy, North Sea haddock and New Zealand rock lobster.

“There are 22 chapters, and Dorothy and I reviewed each of these three to four times. The nine case studies are actual examples of management science in action currently being applied by leaders in the field. This is complemented by the latter sections of the book that provide a broader perspective on how the approach could be improved or developed further, as well as some criticisms of the approach.”

Anthony Charles, Director, School of the Environment, and Professor, School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada writes in the foreword that he’s seen the value of bringing management science and fisheries together and the book “meets the challenge of making that connection in a comprehensive manner” and will “undoubtedly help many more fishery people to become familiar with the ideas, methods and results of management science.”

While Charlie admits that having finished the book he would not recommend the undertaking lightly to anyone, he says it was made worthwhile by his particular interest in the topic.

“This is the space I find most interesting, where science and policy meet, and with the most potential for growth and application within fisheries and beyond to broader ecosystem management issues.”

More details about the book can be found on the Routledge website

Fisheries scientist Charles Edwards holding a copy of the new book. [NIWA]