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WP4: General


Application of the management evaluation framework to selected case studies


Martin Pastoors (IMARES), Phone: +31 610939549, Skype: martin.pastoors

J. Rasmus Nielsen (DTU-Aqua), replacing Simon Mardle (CEMARE) and originally Sean Pascoe (CEMARE)


The participants under WP4 is listed specific for each of the case studies

Introduction and Objectives

The purpose of this reporting is to present the results obtained in the EFIMAS Project on the case specific implementation of the management evaluation framework developed as part of the EFIMAS (Operational Evaluation Tools for Fisheries Management Options) Project (EU 6th Framework Contract 502516).

The EFIMAS Project has developed and integrated a tool box of modelling tools into a robust framework within which to simulate and evaluate a broad range of fishery management objectives and options. The tool box contains a broad range of bio-economic models and simulation tools which are multi-stock and multi-fleet based as well as spatial and temporal eksplicit. The fisheries management evaluation framework has been established through a cyclic feed-back process between generic and case specific development and case specific implementation. The framework has been tested in a number of case studies by case specific application and implementation. Furthermore, broad stakeholder feed-back has been obtained through participatory evaluation of various implementations. The case studies have been chosen to represent a wide variety of biological characteristics, fishing activities and management issues.

In particularly the project has:

• Developed computer based biological and bio-economic models to run stochastic simulations incorporating data from selected EU fisheries, taking into account stock dynamics and fleet interactions as well as impact of the environment on fisheries and vice versa.

• Compared a range of management options generated with the current management of selected ‘test’ stocks and fisheries.

• Compared the performance of a range of management options under alternative management systems and objectives.

• Integrated evaluation of uncertainties in the dynamics and in the data collection, assessment, and advisory processes (under different management systems as well as examples of the ICES advisory process).

Through this framework, EFIMAS has evaluated among others: different stock and fishery assessment models; different economic based and integrated bio-economic fleet and fishery models; dynamics of the case stock and fisheries systems; uncertainties in the dynamics and in the data collection, assessment, and advisory processes; different management systems; and even examples of the ICES advisory process.

The role of the case studies has been two-fold. Firstly, it has been ensured that the management evaluation framework (i.e. the modeling tool) can be applied to a wide variety of fisheries and management problems, i.e different types of these. This is partly done by actually having developed much of the generic framework through the case specific implementations into a common framework. Accordingly, the experiences in developing the case studies (WP4) has given feed-back and improved the tool box development work package (WP3). Secondly, the case studies have provided information to fisheries managers and stakeholders on some of the current management issues in the fisheries being examined. This has been done through an evaluation process including participatory management evaluation framework development where there has been obtained feed-back from a broad variety of stakeholders in an organized way as input to the case specific implementations of the framework (cyclic feed-back process between WP5 and WP4-WP3). This has demonstrated the usefulness of the evaluation tools developed to fisheries managers and other stakeholders in the full fisheries system.

Overview of the Case Studies

The obtained purpose of this work package (WP4) has been to develop on a case specific basis as well as to apply, implement, test, and refine the evaluation tools that are developed in the cyclic feed-back development process between WP3-WP4-WP5 on selected case studies. Also, a achieved purpose has been to apply appropriate analytical tools within the evaluation framework in each of the case studies with the aim to evaluate different management strategies. This has involved further development or modification or re-organisation of the existing descriptive, analytical tools by implementation in representative case studies to analyse dynamics of the fisheries systems. The main achievement has been to ensure that the software developed in the cyclic feed-back process between WP3-WP4-WP5 is capable of being adapted to a wide range of fishery situations, and is able to be used to analyse a wide range and many types of management issues. The case studies and the issues addressed under the case studies was selected to ensure that such heterogeneity in fishery and management issues is captured and assessed within the project.

The case study fisheries to be examined using the simulation evaluation framework are:

CS1:  Demersal flatfish fisheries in the North Sea
CS2:  Demersal roundfish fisheries in the North Sea
CS3:  Salmon fisheries in the Baltic Sea
CS4:  Nephrops fisheries in the East Atlantic
CS6:  Northern hake mixed species fisheries in Area VI, VII and VIII
CS7:  Swordfish fisheries in the Mediterranean
CS8:  Hake fisheries in the Mediterranean
CS9:  Cod fisheries in the Baltic Sea	 

Basis for the selection of case studies

The case studies considered within the EFIMAS project and the issues (management, advice, tools, information, etc) that they represent are illustrated in Figure 1. While the case studies do not cover the entire spectrum of European fisheries, the selected cases do represent the main management problems. In addition, the main features of fisheries systems are covered, i.e. demersal / widely distributed / semi-pelagic, Northern / Southern Europe, data availability (good/poor), TAC management / effort management, ITQs, etc. As a second priority, the cases selected was important in terms of value and biomass of catches.

Figure 1. Multi-scale case study matrix

Multi-scale Case Study Matrix

Note: Case studies 5 and 10 were taken out of the project during the initial project evaluation and project contract negotiation processes.

Multi-scale_Case Study_Matrix

The considerations and analyses in relation to the cases have included:

1) Science – cases with very different characteristics are compared, and the cases possess high contrast in terms of biological systems characteristics (environmentally / fisheries driven, short term dynamics, recruitment variability), economical characteristics, the amount and accuracy of data available, the complexity of the fisheries (diversity and scale of fleets), types of management systems (e.g. TAC, effort, ITQ) and the characteristics of the management institutions (what is the basic approach and the main regulation tools used (?), are management decision making based on high information input (?), are they accepted (?), how effective is monitoring (?), surveillance and control MSC, is there room for adaptation (?), etc.).

2) The need to verify that the evaluation framework is useful in a broader European context which implies both that cases had to be geographically widespread and that the project through the case studies included partners from a wide range of countries and representing different scientific disciplines (biologigy, economy, sociology) and all main types of stakeholders in the European fisheries systems.

General organisation and structure of the case studies

As a prerequisite to the development of the management evaluation framework in cooperation between WP3 and WP4 a range of research questions were addressed in the project in WP4 in relation to specific management procedures which includes methods for monitoring and assessing the status of the system as well as the management options. They relate to main, typological advisory and management problems within managing important EU fisheries. Also they relate to the scope and role of simulation models to inform management decision processes and how various types of knowledge are best brought to use in management decisions.

For each case study, several specific advisory and management problems were selected for consideration. These have during the project work been detailed in the case specific Delivery Matrices (excel spreadsheets) that accompanied the Project Month 36 Activity Reporting and the Interim Technical Reporting under WP4 and WP3 in Project Month 33 (Deliver Matrices versions by April 2006). At that time the purpose of the delivery matrices was fulfilled.

Specific hypotheses on scientific basis as well as specific objectives have been formulated addressing these specific advisory and management problems. In this process relevant existing or modified existing descriptive models and analytical tools have been applied to test / investigate the hypotheses and meet the objectives, i.e. to perform scientifically based hypotheses, testing and investigation on specific management and assessment problems and dynamics of the system. The descriptive models have been used to generate hypotheses about the dynamics of the fisheries system, perform tests and analyses in relation to hypotheses, and where appropriate to parameterise the operating model. Consequently, specific problems are addressed with specific descriptive models and analytical tools. Accordingly, output and results from the analyses were used for developing and parameterisation of the evaluation framework. That was among other partly to parameterise the operating model and run the simulation trials and partly to perform overall evaluation where parametric simulation of parameters was not possible.

The output from the analyses with descriptive models evaluated by the framework focus both on fleets and stocks with respect to the actual management systems tested and supply relevant parameters. Fisheries have been modelled and analysed such as mixed fisheries (multi-species / multi-fleet fisheries). Spatial aspects have been modelled and analysed (e.g. closed areas for fishery in certain periods). Implementation of regulations and fleet adaptation (e.g. behaviour of fishers: how do fleets react on management measures) as well as impact on system were modelled and analysed.

Within the present research programme the research questions/hypothesis and objectives have been stated at two levels – one relating to the general level, to the evaluation process and the overall development of a management evaluation framework (WP3-WP4), and one relating specifically to the case specific advisory and management problems addressed with selected descriptive models and specific analyses (WP 4).

Based on the various cases a suite of specific main and typological advisory and management problems as well as specific issues have been addressed, and objectives and main hypotheses were identified – in which respect the various cases were used as partly a development ground for the management evaluation framework and partly as a test-ground for specific parts or features which were evaluated by the framework. This includes a description of the proposed projects scientific and technical objectives and includes a range of scientific and technical questions relating to specific types of advisory and management problems and descriptive models involved including how uncertainty is best dealt with, how feed-back features can be constructed and can accommodate many types of data and information. The performance of the candidate management options used in the evaluation framework have been evaluated in WP4 and further recommendations on research and management recommendations have been made in a continuous cyclic and iterative feed-back process / system including WP3, WP4 and WP5, and regional stakeholder workshops with respect to e.g. recommendations on further investigations needed, more relevant alternative hypotheses to be addressed, alternative descriptive models and analytical tools to be applied, data to be used, etc., as well as recommendations on other more relevant or desirable management options and objectives.

Specific tasks in relation to WP4

The specific tasks in relation to WP4 are partly described in the Project Contract Technical Annex 1 as well as in the description of progress in the case studies in the sections below of this reporting.

A summary list of major tasks under WP4 is given here: Specific_tasks_under_WP4

Specific tasks in relation to WP4

Overview of management issues addressed in the different case studies

The initial choice of the case studies was to ensure that the evaluation framework could be applied to a wide range of fishery types. From Figure 1, these included single- and multi-species fisheries, different types of fishing fleets, and different types of data availability. An additional consideration at the time the case studies were selected was the range of management issues that may be relevant to the fishery. As noted in the case study descriptions, a wide variety of management issues are addressed in the project.

The management issues considered are by-and-large related to the current management systems in place in the fisheries considered. In the Mediterranean case studies as well as partly the Baltic cod case study, the fisheries are predominantly managed through effort controls. As a result, the key issues to be addressed in the study focus on closed seasons and technical measures. In the North Sea fisheries, managed through output controls, issues such as stock recovery plans, selectivity and mixed fisheries interactions were considered of greater priority as well as evaluation of relevant alternative and emerging regulation in form of effort regulation. In the Baltic, the also concerns related to the stock assessment process and the relationship with fisheries management has been addressed.

In addition to considering these particular issues, a number of alternative management tools (or approaches) are to be assessed. These tools are summarised in the figure below. Again, these largely relate to variations in current management rather than introducing substantially different management regimes.

Figure 2. Overview of management issues addressed

Overview of Management Issues Addressed

Overview of Management Issues Addressed

General Progress, Results and Conclusions from Case Specific Work (WP4)

EFIMAS List of Dissemination, Products and Activities incl. WP4:

General progress of case specific analyses

For each case study the existing management system and main management problems have been described including the purpose of the management measures. For relevant case studies this has included identification of alternative management systems and instruments which have not yet been implemented, but are relevant and deemed likely to emerge for this given fishery system. The Knowledge Basis for each management system as well as relevant management systems for European fisheries management in general has in 2006 been published in a book produced under EFIMAS WP2 which has helped in this description and evaluation.

Key management issues and objectives addressed and evaluated by case study have been formulated. Specific hypotheses about the key management issues and of the dynamics of the case specific systems analysed with descriptive models and analytical tools were identified and produced. This includes necessary adaptation of the generic fisheries management evaluation framework to comprehend these.

Appropriate descriptive models and analytical tools necessary to evaluate these hypotheses and specific management issues were selected or developed and have been used in the evaluations. This has been done in relation to specific management procedures which includes methods for monitoring and assessing the status of the system. The relevant descriptive models and analytical tools have been made available and have been applied and used in the scientific analysis of the systems which is completed in the different case studies. This has involved further development, modification or re-organization of existing descriptive models and analytical tools, and a long row of these have been formulated into R/FLR being con-current input to development of the generic evaluation framework in relation to this. In this process, identification of key parameters and processes has also been performed.

The collection of the key information necessary for the construction of the simulation models of each fishery as well as for the biological part has been completed. Existing national and international (e.g. ICES and STECF data) case specific data were made available according to needs. This included making appropriate choices in relation to specific use of data and data processing in relation to quality and necessary aggregation and dis-aggregation that are central in order to make high quality parameterisation, modelling and analysis for the different case studies. This process has also identified sensitive parameters as well as identified central and necessary components of the evaluation framework.

In relation to this the dimensions and processes of both the biological and technical/economical operating models (and linkages between those) in the case studies have been developed and completed. The OM’s were implemented and finalised, and simulations have been performed in all case studies and the results of the evaluations and the conclusions have been presented. The work has produced evaluation of the performance of the candidate management options as well as making recommendations on further research and proposals of alternative management options. Also the simulation work have integrated evaluation of uncertainties in the dynamics and in the data collection, assessment, and advisory processes under different management systems as well as in examples of the ICES advisory process. A long row of actual implementations and dissemenation through ICES, STECF, ICCAT, NAFO, etc. - as well as scientific peer reviewed papers - have been produced on this basis. This has included a long row of simulation trials.

WP4 work in the development of the generic fisheries management evaluation framework

The EFIMAS project aimed to develop an operational and generic fisheries management evaluation framework that can be used for evaluating different types of management measures, i.e. that allows evaluation of the trade-off between different management objectives when choosing between different management options. In the Technical Annex of the EFIMAS Project Contract [EFIMAS, 2004a] the process of developing the evaluation framework has been described as an iterative, cyclic feed-back process of developing the methodology (WP3-WP4) and then applying these methods in different case studies (WP4). The overall usefulness of the evaluation framework has been addressed in WP5 - also through a cyclic feed-back process between WP5, WP3 and WP4. Consequently, the general aspects of the evaluation framework have been developed in cooperation between EFIMAS WP3-5 in order to inform an exploratory, adaptive decision-making process. The analytical tools developed utilise stochastic simulation techniques. These tools simulate the complete fishery management system, including the fish resources and fleets, through data collection, assessment and management, and the response of the system to management.

The evaluation tools were applied to a variety of case studies in order to appraise the biological, social and economic effects of fisheries management measures in the EU. As noted earlier, these case studies were chosen as they to a large extent reflected the full scope of the management system currently in operation in Europe, as well as widely varying biological, economic, technical and environmental conditions. The proposed simulations also cover the current and potentially alternative management tools that are being considered in European fisheries management.

A key feature of the case studies is not only that they address different management systems and issues, but that they are also used in several instances to test the implications of alternative assumptions about the fishery on the robustness of management decision making. These include among other the effects of selectivity, uncertainty about stock dynamic parameters, the impact of different assessment methods on management advice, and effect of different technical management measures.

In practice, there has been a very close link between the development of the management evaluation framework and the application in case studies. The generic biological FLR objects have been developed and documented, and the generic fisheries and economical FLR objects were completed (FLFleet, FLMetier, FLEcon, etc.). Biological operating models have been implemented and parameterized in FLR for all case studies, and full scenarios have been applied. The economical / technical operating models have been established, and there has been performed a full implementation of the economical and fisheries operating models and linking those to the biological operating models.

The economist meeting and workshop - also with participation of biological OM experts - in Copenhagen January 2007 and in Lisbon April 2007 and Copenhagen January 2008 (ECONOWS) produced a full economic report summarizing the previous economist meetings in Sevilla, London and Nantes (see the Activity List) and also produced generic mathematical equations used for different relevant processes in the economical OMs which have been formulated into R/FLR, and into FLFleet, FLEcon, etc. with full documentation.

Cooperation with international organisations and other EU Projects in the work

General contribution by EFIMAS in relation to the evaluation framework development and the case specific implementation as well as cooperation with other projects and work in international organisations in relation to this development as well as implementation of the developed evaluation framework in other related projects:

The described work has been done in cooperation and through communication with different international advisory organisations and bodies (ICES, ICCAT, EU STECF, NAFO, etc.). This has covered partly use of data bases and results, application of the developed fisheries management evaluation tools for relevant management scenarios (e.g. management in relation to stock recovery plans), as well as implementation of widely used assessment models in the evaluation framework and case specific implementation.

Similar cooperation with relevant and associated EU FP5 and FP6 Projects has been an important part of the EFIMAS work and progress.

The bio-economic and socio-economic fisheries management evaluation framework(s) have been developed in common between especially two EU Projects so far: the EU FP6 EFIMAS and COMMIT Projects as well as the case specific implementation of this. Parts of the FLR framework with respect to initial parts of the biological OM on single stock basis (mainly the FLXSA and parts of FLStock) were developed under the EU FP5 FEMS Project. The budget allocation in EFIMAS in relation to development of the Fisheries Management Evaluation Frameworks and the case specific application and implementation of these as well as both the qualitative and quantitative performance evaluation of the evaluation frameworks were carried out through a continuous cyclic feed-back processes between the EFIMAS WP3, WP4 and WP5. The overall budgetary EU Contribution to EFIMAS WP3-5 is around 3.9 million EURO (excl. coordination costs). Similarly, the general development and case specific implementation of the FLR Evaluation Framework in COMMIT is covered by WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 which covers a budgetary EU Contribution of around 1.1 million EURO. The three cases in COMMIT were overlapping with three of the in total eight cases in EFIMAS. A series of meetings has been held jointly between the EFIMAS and the COMMIT projects. The development work, application and implementation work has been carried out as an integrated cooperation process between the two projects. This cooperation and project specific work is described in further detail below. Further financial information and splitting between the two projects were available by medio 2007 with the final reporting of COMMIT as well as the interim economic reporting by EFIMAS project month 36.

Similarly, parts of the development and implementation of the TEMAS and ISIS fisheries management evaluation tools (Case Study 2, Case Study 6 and Case Study 9) have been carried out under other projects besides the major development and implementation in relation to those in EFIMAS. This has among other been done through the EU FP5 TECTAC Project, as well as through certain Danish and French National Projects.

The cooperation and integration of EFIMAS as a platform in respect of the evaluation framework development with other EU FP6 projects has in overview covered the following:


Definitions of differences and synergies between COMMIT and EFIMAS work and results: The main goal of COMMIT was to develop multi-annual management procedures including multi-annual stock assessment models using a management evaluation framework. The management procedures considered a broad range of uncertainty (e.g. process, and implementation errors as well as measurement and estimation errors) and were into a high degree including Bayesian based approaches. Where appropriate the Bayesian approach was used to specify plausible hypotheses (and associated probabilities) about the dynamics of the system. Application of the developed methodology in evaluation frameworks focussed on multi-annual management procedures and compliance to management regulations including evaluation by Bayesian methodology. The EFIMAS project has been much broader in its concept and coverage, and the main objective of EFIMAS has been to develop a generic management evaluation framework including a biological and economical based operating model, an adaptation model, and management procedures all being able to address a broad range of various management strategies, management measures, and assessment models in- and outside the present European fisheries management system with in principle no limitations in relation to what the project can address (also in relation to what other projects may also address). This involved broad and extensive in depth analyses and case specific analyses to be able to establish and evaluate this management evaluation framework. EFIMAS applied various descriptive models and evaluation tools in contrasting case studies based on the broad expertise within the project. Benefiting from the longer project life-time EFIMAS integrated methodology developed and management evaluation result obtained within COMMIT. In turn EFIMAS supplied COMMIT with descriptions of current management systems, collation of basic data (in cooperation with COMMIT), specification and parameterisation of operating models, and definition of base cases. The evaluation of the EFIMAS management evaluation framework’s usefulness to relevant fisheries stakeholders (e.g. managers, industry, advisers, NGOs) included direct sociological studies and direct feed-back from stakeholders (on e.g. the stakeholder workshops and focus groups under EFIMAS) which was not the case for COMMIT. However, COMMIT included some specific methodological solutions to include some sociological information into the models used hereunder (which also was considered in the evaluation framework). Overall the EFIMAS and COMMIT projects have shared case studies. All of the 3 case studies in COMMIT are included in EFIMAS, i.e. being among the 7 major case studies in EFIMAS.


This cooperation between projects were made in relation to EFIMAS Case Study 4, Nephrops Fisheries. The revised work plan of Case Study 4 (see Amendment to EFIMAS Contract May 2006; EFIMAS, 2006) was split into two components (Parts A and B). Part A focussed on Nephrops stock assessment methods which made use of length-structured data. A study to determine the sensitivity of such models to input data and parameters has been undertaken, with particular focus on the sensitivity to sampling levels and estimates of growth This allowed for an understanding of what factors most influence such length based stock assessment models and where the key uncertainty lies. This information was used to evaluate what key data is required to most effectively reduce the uncertainty in the model. Part B formed an essential planned linkage to the parallel EC Framework VI gear technology project (NECESSITY). Without this linkage, or indeed this case study, a key component of the NECESSITY project could not be completed. This case study (CS4B) made estimations of the biological consequences which can be potentially accrued through the use of new gear based technical measures. These new gear technical measures were developed under the framework of the NECESSITY project, and intended to reduce discarding of juvenile whitefish in Nephrops fisheries around EU waters. The linkage between the gear development work undertaken in the NECESSITY project and the assessment of the biological impacts through the EFIMAS provided a useful set of deliverables which complimented both EC funded projects.


The cooperation between these projects was mainly in relation to EFIMAS Case Study 9, Baltic Cod Fisheries. The cooperation here was within the development and application of the FLR, TEMAS and ISIS-Fish Models to evaluate biological and economical effects of closed seasons and areas in relation to fisheries management being a part of the development of the generic management evaluation framework. Among other the ISIS-Fish model has been incorporated in the FLR evaluation framework under Case Study 6, and experiences from this were used in the implementation of FLR, TEMAS and ISIS-Fish in the EFIMAS Case Study 9.


Discussion meetings on model development and on Evaluation Models design and software use incorporated in the development of the fisheries management evaluation framework as well as in the cooperation between EFIMAS and BECAUSE have been held.


In the EU FP6 CEVIS Project there were performed evaluations and used results from application of the FLR Evaluation Framework - as well as analyses connected hereto - especially in relation to the EFIMAS Case Studies 1, 6 and 9 in a direct cooperation. These evaluations have been put into context of innovations in fisheries management and evaluation of alternative management systems. This has resulted in several joint publications between the two projects.


In relation to the EU FP6 FISBOAT Project the FLFisboat object has been made using the generic FLR fisheries management evaluation framework developed partly under the EFIMAS project. The FLFisboat object has furthermore been used in input to scenario-evaluations under EFIMAS Case Study 2.


Databases developed and data requests under the EU FP6 CAFÉ Project were made in close contact with the EFIMAS Project (basically relating to EFIMAS Case Study 2), i.e. especially in relation to data requests made under the projects. This is partly done on basis of the experiences and results obtained from establishment of the EFLALO database under the EU FP5 Project TECTAC.


In general the use of data bases, results, and descriptive analysis tools from other projects and international fishery management advisory organisations (ICES EU STECF, ICCAT and NAFO), as well as the development and implementation of the case specific analyses and the establishment and use of the generic management evaluation framework, is further described under the specific approaches under the case studies, as well as under WP5.


Deliverables, Milestones and deadlines

  • M3: Software package with the operating simulation model(s) with full documentation
  • M4: Technical reports of input/results by case study
  • M5: Evaluation of technical reports on inputs and results by case study.

Overview list of Dissemination, Products and Activities (WP4)

EFIMAS List of Dissemination, Productions and Activities:

Meeting Documents and Other Case Specific Work - working documents, models, analyses etc.

J. Rasmus Nielsen 2006/12/14 00:50

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