Step 10. Interpretation

Using all of these data streams and methodologies, a team of stakeholders developed an adaptive management scheme through a collaborative process. The Performance Indicators (PIs) selected to represent the finfish are the fishing mortality limits (e.g. F/M), total catch trends and the MPA Density Ratio. They represent both fishery dependent and independent data streams. When relevant assessments were run for each of the fish baskets in this hypothetical fishery, the PIs were all found to be below (↓) the target Reference Points (RPs), indicating that the fishery is not currently operating in a sustainable way.

Based on the data available and the methods used, the stakeholders determined that management measures need to be implemented for each fish basket in order to decrease fishing mortality and start the process of rebuilding this multispecies fishery. In cases like this one, where a management response is required, the following actions should always be taken before adjusting harvest controls:

  • Verify data and calculations
  • Review sampling protocol, assess size structure of the population
  • Ensure that fishery independent surveys overlap with known or assumed distribution (depth and space) of population and fishing effort
  • Assess and compare results with estimates of CPUE, effort metrics, spatial distribution of effort, and previous year’s catch
  • Double check assumptions and reference points
  • Consult with local experts
  • Consider adjusting harvest controls and develop a recovery plan if necessary