Step 11. Implementation and Adaptation

To manage the fishery based on the outputs of all of these analyses, managers and stakeholders came together in workshops to choose fishery indicators and reference values (limits and targets) that matched their goals (catch, as an indicator of desired yields; CPUE, as an indicator of desired profits; MPA density ratio, as an indicator of ecosystem health and capacity to generate tourism and recreational fishing benefits). They then used the outputs of their analyses to compare current levels of these indicators to the reference values – this year, catch was up slightly from the 5 year running average, indicating that yields were good; CPUE was stable, indicating that profits should be stable as well; but the MPA density ratio for snapper dropped to 0.4, indicating that fishing pressure increased enough to cause some depletion. Stakeholders pointed out that catch went up because prices were better this year than last, and the weather was good for fishing. The fishermen also said that they were becoming more skilled in targeting valuable stocks, so that explained why CPUE had remained stable even as stock levels became somewhat depleted. Based on this interpretation, managers and stakeholders agreed to reduce fishing mortality by 10% and implemented this agreement by reducing the catch limit.