Step 5. Prioritization

Working with stakeholders, we first adjusted the Prioritization Matrix to fit our level of risk tollerance – determining that any species with even a moderate depletion level should be considered a High Priority. We then examined each combination of vulnerability and status scores (derived in Steps 3 and 4, respectively), and used the results to prioritize each stock for precautionary management and further assessment. Both of the groupers require immediate action, followed by monitoring and data collection. At this step, we do recommend continuing on through Step 9 for an in-depth assessment of all three fish stocks. To ensure adequate data are available to conduct Step 9 assessments, we will continue to collect SCUBA visual survey, length data, and catch data, watching for signs of increased fishing pressure or reduced abundance that can be explained by increased fishing pressure (see Step 10, Interpretation).

Prioritization Table with results for three species