Climate Variability: Implications for Tuna Management
Beginning July 2003
Principal Investigators |
Project Information |
Submitted as the NSF Proposal 0323134: Collaborative Research: Sustaining Cooperative Multinational Management of Marine Fisheries in the Face of Environmental Variability
The goal of this collaborative research is to address the question of achieving stable and mutually beneficial management of multinational marine fisheries in an unstable climatic environment. Specifically the study will examine the effectiveness and robustness of alternative institutional arrangements for joint management of commercially harvested trans-boundary fish stocks in the presence of environmental uncertainty. The project will focus on the disruptive effects of poorly predicted oceanic environmental variability, including sudden climatic regime shifts, and will address the value of improved predictability. It is well known that uncoordinated fishing often will lead to over-harvesting and fish stock depletion, with destructive biological and economic implications. It becomes also a multinational political question when the fish stock ranges across national jurisdictional boundaries, and especially onto the "global common" of the high seas. In this context, cooperative management can be difficult to achieve and sustain, even in a stable oceanic environment. It is doubly difficult when sudden and unexpected climatic shifts occur, such as instances of the Pacific Ocean El Nino-Southern Oscillation phenomena.
The project's activities consist of several interrelated components. The empirical component, led by NCAR personnel, will produce a systematic comparative history of multinational management institutions for the world's tuna fisheries, highlighting specific issues and key relationships that are to be examined through the modeling. The complementary modeling activities, centered at the University of Montana, utilize game theoretic concepts, and are realized through dynamic mathematical and computer-based analysis. The "incomplete-information multilateral fish-war model" focuses on cases of decentralized but coordinated management, where the climatic regime shifts have asymmetric effects and the parties differ in their access to information and in their goals and attitudes toward risk. The component on "modeling coalition formation and stability in multilateral fisheries management" will examine the internal politics of alternative multilateral governance arrangements, the entry and exit of nation states from the joint governing body, the endogenous formation of voting coalitions within the body, and of "spillover effects" among coalitions. Finally, in an "integrative phase" the full research team will examine the implications of the modeling results for each empirical case study, both to better understand historical patterns and to evaluate alternative, potentially more robust, cooperative management arrangements. The goal here is to make this work more fully relevant to policy studies.
Future publications planned
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0323134.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.