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Report on Meeting 1 of CLIOTOP WG 5
Socioeconomic Aspects and Management Strategies
December 1-3 2004
East-West Center, University of Hawaii


CLIOTOP Working Group 5 -- Socioeconomic Aspects and Management Strategies, held its inaugural meeting December 1-3 2004 at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center, with Kathleen Miller and Rėmi Mongruel serving as co-chairs. Working Group 5 seeks to contribute to CLIOTOP’s overall objective of improving the understanding of the impacts of both climate variability and fishing on oceanic top predator species. Specifically, WG 5 seeks to develop a coordinated research effort focused on understanding the drivers of human impacts on these species, and assessing the potential value of scientific information in resource management.

The goals of Working Group 5, as articulated in the current Draft Science Plan, are to improve understanding of:

  • the factors that drive human impacts on top predator species;
  • the efforts to manage those human impacts through local, national, regional, and international scientific and regulatory efforts; and
  • the impacts and implications of these scientific and regulatory efforts, together with changes in stocks and catch of top predator species on those communities dependent on them.

The Participants in the WG 5 meeting recognized that climate variability has influenced the development of both fisheries and regulatory efforts through its impacts of on the dynamics of the targeted fish stocks. Natural and human impacts on these species are, thus, highly interrelated. Much of the discussion in this first meeting centered on conceptualization of this integrated system and the need to articulate the interplay between the effects of climate variability on the stocks; the evolution of harvesting activities; and the development of management regimes – especially international management regimes.

Meeting Agenda:

Briefly, the agenda for the WG 5 meeting was as follows:

Dec. 1 p.m. – Opening joint session and overview of CLIOTOP.

Dec 2 a.m. – Meeting goals; Introductions; Overviews of current research activities – including short, focused presentations of ongoing and proposed research projects and follow-up discussion.

Dec. 2 p.m. – Open discussion of purpose, focus and audience for WG 5 research efforts; Linkages to other Working Groups.

Dec. 2 p.m. & Dec. 3 a.m. – Focused discussion on next steps

Dec. 3 a.m. & p.m. – CLIOTOP General Session

This agenda of was driven by the fact that the social science research community interested in this topic is highly diverse, and has not yet developed a forum for regular ongoing interactions. In fact, the majority of the participants were meeting one another for the first time. As a result, the Working Group devoted the bulk of its time to introductory presentations of ongoing and planned research activities. This allowed the participants to develop a sense of the breadth of research questions and methodological perspectives that could be brought to bear in developing this program. Through the presentations and follow-up discussion, the participants worked to develop a common understanding of a useful framework for organizing this diverse set of research activities into a coherent coordinated effort.

Research Presentations – Morning of Dec.2:

Several participants gave short presentations relating to ongoing and planned research or relevant management experience as follows:

Sam Pooley:

Dr. Pooley provided an overview and history of resource problems and management actions pertaining to tuna and billfish resources in the Pacific basin. His talk focused especially on Hawaiian Island experiences and issues relating to U.S. participation in international fisheries. An especially prominent management issue in the Hawaiian island region has been the interaction between fisheries and endangered species. Environmental regulations have had important impacts on fleet dynamics, but the regulations did not anticipate those effects. For example, the Hawaiian fleet expanded following the introduction of regulations to protect porpoises in the eastern Pacific, and curtailment of Hawaiian swordfish harvests to protect sea turtles caused those vessels to move into the bigeye tuna fishery. Dr. Pooley noted that a comparative assessment of regulatory impacts in the porpoise and sea turtle protection cases would be a valuable contribution. The talk also addressed spatial and temporal variability in targeted and bycatch species and the potential value of floating management zones.

In the context of international tuna management, much attention is currently focused on controlling the rapid expansion of fishing capacity. However, better analysis and more effective measures are needed. In addition, Dr. Pooley noted that failure to consider the effects of climate variability have led to unintended consequences. For example, efforts by the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to regulate harvests of bigeye tuna did not adequately consider the effects of climate variability on movement of the stocks across that Commission’s regulatory boundary.

Laurence Cordonnery:

Laurence described preliminary results from a collaborative project with Patrick Lehodey. The project seeks to examine the potential usefulness and optimal location of marine reserves in the Western and Central Pacific to address conservation concerns. Specifically, the project addresses whether optimum candidate marine reserves coincide with high seas enclaves and if so, what legal, political and economic implications their designation might have for management. In addition, the project seeks to assess the biological legal, political and economic implications of designating dynamical (i.e. shifting) marine reserves. The present focus of the project is on Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna. Consideration will be given to identification of spawning areas, location of seamounts, migratory paths of sea turtles, and the effects of variable oceanographic conditions.

D.G. Webster:

This talk provided an overview of international management organizations governing fisheries for oceanic top predator species around the world, and described the rapid development of these fisheries and resultant management problems. The talk focused on application of a crisis response model to explain and predict the political repercussions of entrepreneurial responses to declining profits engendered by over exploitation. The model can shed light on the development of regulatory responses to biological crises in international fisheries. D.G illustrated application of the model to the case of the Atlantic Tuna Commission. The model suggests that the likelihood of a strong policy response to a biological crisis will depend on the harvest value of the species in question and the differing economic vulnerability of the states exploiting the stock of fish (as determined by the industry’s cost structure and the availability of alternative target species). Evidence from the history of the Atlantic Tuna Commission is broadly consistent with the model’s predictions. In addition, she described cases in which the effects of climate variability on stock rebuilding and spatial distribution influenced the outcomes of management actions.

Kathleen Miller:

This talk focused on recent research projects that examined the impacts of climatic regime shifts on efforts to cooperatively manage international marine fisheries. Uncertainties caused by large natural variations in the abundance or migratory behavior of shared fish stocks become problematic when the natural variations are unanticipated or misinterpreted, or have asymmetrical effects on the availability of fish to the different fleets. In the cases examined, failure to recognize or anticipate the effects of a change in climate on the shared fish stocks led either to a collapse of the cooperative management regime – in the case of North American Pacific salmon; or to severe depletion of the shared fish stock – in the case of Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring. The talk also addressed the potential contributions of better scientific information to the design of more stable cooperative management agreements.

Bob McKelvey:

This talk described a game theoretic model of a “split stream” fishery in which the growth rate and distribution of a shared stock between the harvesting grounds of two fishing nations varies stochastically as a result of climate variability. Dr. McKelvey and collaborators initially developed this model in conjunction with the Pacific salmon research project described by Kathleen Miller. In that context, the model roughly captures the impacts of the variable migration path of Fraser River sockeye salmon around Vancouver Island on the availability of those fish to the U.S. and Canadian fleets. More recently the model has been modified, to permit more natural application to densely-schooling small pelagics (sardines and anchovies). Simulations with the model have focused on exploring the effects of differences in the quality and availability of information under different specifications of model parameters. An especially relevant result is the finding that, when the two nations are engaged in competitive harvesting, more information is not always beneficial and may, in fact, be quite harmful to the health of the resource and the well-being of the harvesting nations. This suggests a need to coordinate scientific efforts with the development of robust cooperative management regimes.

Peter Jacques:

This talk, based on Dr. Jacques’ forthcoming book, examined the relationship between measures of globalization and the sustainability of regional fisheries sectors. Dr. Jacques laid out a multi-regional assessment comparing levels of foreign direct investment to measures of the health of fisheries and coral reefs. Changes in variables measuring ocean state, such as sea surface temperatures, were also considered. In each of the three regions examined–the Caribbean, South Pacific and Southeast Asia– one nation clearly acted as the economic hub, attracting the bulk of foreign direct investment ( USA, Australia and China, respectively). The study found that increased globalization, as measured by regional foreign direct investment, was associated with adverse changes in the sustainability of fisheries and coral reef systems. National assessments of non-hub nations might miss this association by failing to recognize the important influence of globalized economic activity in the regional hub.

Rémi Mongruel:

This talk provided an overview of a broad range of relevant research activities within the European Community. In particular, there is a series of ongoing research projects aimed at economic modeling of the structure and behavior of European markets for tuna and E.U. fishing fleet dynamics – encompassing both local fleets harvesting tuna in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and distant water fleets operating around the World. Various research activities are focusing on such topics as: analyzing the nature and dynamics of supply chains; the political aspects and development implications of distant water fishing activities; design of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and developmental and environmental issues. Dr. Mongruel provided an extensive list of potential research partners and shared thoughts on the relevance of climate changes to management and economic development issues.

Olivier Guyader:

This project seeks to understand the interactions between fishing resources, the environment, and human activities on a regional scale. It focuses on the full range of resources, and fisheries in the Bay of Biscay as well as other human activities affecting that ecosystem. The project is developing models to analyze and forecast the evolution of this integrated fisheries system in the context of various climatic, economic and management scenarios. The project gives particular attention to the effects of climate change on fleet dynamics. While tuna and other highly migratory species are not major components of the Bay of Biscay fishery system, the integrated modeling approach that this project is developing could be useful for examining fishery dynamics in regions that are dependent on tuna and related species.

Vina Ram-Bidesi:

This presentation described the effects of climate variability on tuna harvests within the EEZ of Kiribati. Harvest variability is especially significant for government revenues, which depend heavily on foreign access fees. Annual climatic variations lead to pronounced local seasonality in the abundance of tuna schools amenable to capture by surface fishing gears. In addition, during El Niño events tuna catches in Kiribati can increase dramatically – especially true during the 1983 and 1993 El Niños. Harvests after 1993 have been more moderate, but foreign access fees have increased significantly, although they remain highly variable. The goals of this project include: 1) assessing the impact of fluctuating access revenues, 2) investigating the extent to which climate and catch predictability could affect access negotiations and sustainability of the fisheries, 3) identifying adaptive strategies during periods of low catches, and 4) assessing the potential for regional cooperative measure to mitigate adverse impacts of climatic fluctuations.

Open Discussion – Afternoon of Dec 2:

The Open Discussion session focused on the following issues:

  • What should be the primary purpose and focus of the CLIOTOP WG5 program?
  • What is the relationship of WG5’s research interests to the overall CLIOTOP scientific effort?
  • Who is the audience for this research and how could it be beneficial?

The group devoted much of its attention to the question of how socioeconomic issues fit with the physical and biological side of the CLIOTOP research program. The general consensus was that humans are not merely end users of scientific information. Rather, human activities – especially harvesting of oceanic top predators – play important roles in driving the dynamics of both targeted and non-targeted species. Furthermore, research to better understand how the relevant drivers and constraints on these activities change over time should be an integral and essential part of the CLIOTOP program.

As a result of these discussions, Working Group 5 currently proposes two interrelated research foci: 1) the evolution of harvesting efforts as affected by climate-driven variability in stock productivity and distribution; and 2) the interplay between resource changes (driven by both harvesting and natural variability) and the development and functioning of international fishery management organizations. Figure 1 provides a highly simplified schematic representation of how the two foci are linked to one another through changes in the pelagic system – as driven by both climate influences and the effect of harvesting activities.

Here, changes in abundance and distribution of the harvested stocks of oceanic top predators are at the center of this integrated system. Note, however, that to understand those changes requires understanding the elements that are central to the interests and expertise of Working Group 5 – that is, the evolution of fishing effort, the development of international management institutions and the domestic politics that mediate between the two.

A more detailed view of this system is presented in Figure 2, where the new boxes include some of the specific elements that require consideration in the Working Group 5 science effort.

Briefly, the labels encompass the following types of factors and issues:

  • Other Factors: Markets for productive inputs including capital and labor; Technology
  • Other Values: Environmental amenities; Economic development; Food security
  • Target Market: Domestic vs. Global; Evolving levels of demand and product preferences
  • Global Poli/Econ: Changes in distribution of wealth; Trade flows and policies; International development assistance; Foreign direct investment
  • Science: Evolving understanding of the integrated climate, biological and human exploitation and management system

A far more elaborate, and human-focused version of this system is depicted in Figure 3:

This version provides a better sense of the complexity of the socioeconomic processes, actors, interests, and institutions that drive harvesting and other human activities affecting oceanic top predator species. Some of this complexity was reflected in the research presentations described above.

Focused Discussion, Next Steps – Afternoon of Dec.2 & Morning of Dec. 3:

The CLIOTOP Co-Chairs asked all of the Working Groups to do the following:

  • identify the work plan, time line and milestones of the WG in term of actual work to be done by the group (which question to tackle first, comparative analysis, databases, etc...);
  • identify people to follow the proposed activities
  • identifiy running projects and people that could be affiliated to the WG and criteria for projects (keeping in mind that the final CLIOTOP affiliation will rely on the steering committee decision);
  • identify future projects that should be organized and promoted as affiliated to the WG;
  • WG synthesis and list of interacting points/tasks with other WGs

Working Group 5 considered these requests during the focused discussion session. Given WG 5’s formative stage, the group’s initial efforts will focus heavily on building an information base and research forum to foster the further development of this community. An immediate goal for Working Group 5 is to develop an inventory of relevant ongoing and planned research efforts. Other near-term WG5 goals are to 1) develop an extensive and broadly-based bibliography of relevant literature and 2) conduct a gap analysis of existing and needed work to identify opportunities to fill in missing information.

Based on the morning’s presentations and on the activities of others present at the meeting and their close colleagues, the group developed the following initial lists of ongoing and planned research projects:

Ongoing Projects Related to CLIOTOP WG5 Goals:

  • Sustaining Cooperative Multinational Management of Marine Fisheries in the Face of Environmental Variability(Robert McKelvey, Peter Golubtsov, Kathleen Miller)
  • Crisis Response in International Fisheries: Cases from the Atlantic Tuna Commission (D.G. Webster)
  • Potential Impacts and Relevance of Marine Protected Areas in the Central and Western and Pacific Tuna Fisheries (Patrick Lehodey, Laurence Cordonnery)
  • Regulatory Impact Analysis Framework for Hawaii pelagic fishery (Keiichi Nemoto & Sam Pooley)
  • Spatial modeling of trade offs between sea turtle take reduction and economic returns (Keiichi Nemoto and Mike Parke)
  • Governance of industrial tuna commodity chains and their impact on developing countries: the cases of Fiji and Seychelles (Liam Campling)
  • Measuring Harvest Capacity in pelagic fisheries and its impact in fishery mangagement (Pan Minling and Sam Pooley)
  • Impact of Sea Surface Temperature on Tuna Pricing and Markets (Pan Minling & Sam Pooley)
  • Modeling Fleet Effort Dynamics & Protected Species Interaction in Hawaii’s Longline Fishery (PS Leung, N Pradhan, S Pooley)

Future Projects:

  • Evaluating Common Fishery Policy Reform: its impact on European tuna industry (Remi Mongruel, Olivier Guyader)
  • Time series analysis of prices and catches in relation to climate change: the case of European tuna fleet (Olivier Guyader, Remi Mongruel)
  • Comparative Analysis of Crisis Response in the International Tuna Organizations (DG Webster, Anthony Michaels)
  • Regional adaptation of tuna fisheries to climate variability: Case studies from the Pacific Island states (Vina Ram Bidesi)
  • Development of South Pacific Regional institutions for climate change and fisheries (Peter Jacques)

Criteria for Inclusion of Research Projects within WG5 Umbrella:

Regarding future research, the meeting participants considered criteria for the functioning of the Working Group 5 as a scientific forum and for inclusion of projects within the Working Group 5 program. Regarding the functioning of WG 5 as a scientific forum, participants and future members are expected (i) to contribute to the development of shared resources including the bibliography and inventory of relevant projects, and (ii) to provide regular updates on research findings, model development and data resources to the other Working Group members, as well as to the entire CLIOTOP research community. We anticipate that this sharing will be facilitated by the development of a Working Group 5 website, an e-mail discussion group and by future meetings.

Criteria regarding the inclusion of research projects within the WG 5 program consist of a first set of relevance criteria and an additional set of priority criteria.

Relevance criteria:

  • Fits within CLIOTOP – WG 5 science plan and diagram
  • Provides methodologies applicable to other regions / by other teams

Additional priority criteria:

  • Addresses effects of climate and human drivers
  • Relevance to decision-makers

Work Plan:

The work plan for this program is constrained by the present unavailability of funding for a focused WG5 effort. Nevertheless, the current and planned research projects are likely to benefit from better communication and from coordinated attention to the effects of climate variability. In addition, the Working Group will seek funding to support future meetings, development of the needed gap analysis, and coordinated research activities. Specifically, WG5 will work to:

  • Further develop the conceptual framework, research questions and criteria for participation of projects and development of new projects
  • Identify and scout funding sources for:
    Next meetings, gap analysis, initiating & supporting projects


  • Hold an initial funded meeting fall 2005 (presentation of bibliography, gap analysis, papers completed and in progress). This will broaden the group of participants by including many of the interested researchers who were unable to attend the Hawaii meeting.
  • Obtain funding to hold a second meeting of authors for an edited volume or book that would focus on providing guidelines and insights for scientists and policy makers.


The participants discussed the types of products that could be delivered by a coordinated research program under the WG5 umbrella. If adequate funding can be obtained, WG5 could produce the following deliverables:

  • Collected book of institutional analyses for guidance on management of oceans supporting pelagic top predator species and the communities dependent on them
  • Bioeconomic model of climate change, fishing effort & management on pelagic systems


The first meeting of CLIOTOP Working Group 5 brought together a highly diverse group of social scientists to explore the potential value of a coordinated research program on the socioeconomic aspects of climate impacts on oceanic top predators. The participants encompassed a wide range of perspectives, methodological approaches, specific research interests and experiences. Despite these differences, the group found considerable common ground, and a strong potential for beneficial sharing of insights, findings and data resources. In addition, group members expressed a strong interest in collaborating with the other CLIOTOP Working Groups. In the course of the joint wrap-up discussions, the point was made that ongoing coordination, and joint research with members of the other Working Groups would not only benefit the individual research projects involved, but would strengthen the overall CLIOTOP Program.


National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Science Center Honolulu Laboratory
2570 Dole Street Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
(808) 983-5341 (phone)
(808) 983-2902 (fax)

Cheryl L Anderson
AICP, Hazards, Climate & Environment Program Director
UH Social Science Research Institute
2424 Maile Way, Saunders 719
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-3908 (phone)
(808) 956-2884 (fax)

Makena Coffman
Research Assistant to Denise Konan
UH Dept. of Economics
2424 Maile Way – Saunders Hall 5 th floor
Honolulu, HI

Laurence Cordonnery
Research Fellow
East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI

Olivier Guyader
Centre de Brest
Direction des Ressources Vivantes
Défi golfe de Gascogne
BP 70 - 29280 PLOUZANÉ

Peter Jacques
Department of Political Science
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 161356
4000 Central Florida Blvd.
Orlando , FL 32816-1356
(407)823-6773 Fax: (407) 823-0051

PingSun Leung
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Aquaculture and Fisheries Economics Group (AFEG)
Gilmore Hall 111
3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822

Bob McKelvey
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Montana
Missoula , MT 59801

Kathleen Miller
Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE)
National Center for Atmospheric Research
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder , CO 80307
(303) 497-8115

Rémi Mongruel
Marine Economics Department
Ifremer / DEM / Centre de Brest
BP 70 – 29280 Plouzané
Phone: + 33 2 98 22 49 31
Fax: + 33 2 98 22 47 76

Keiichi Nemoto
Economist, PFRP, JIMAR, UH
c/o NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
2570 Dole St.
Honolulu HI 96822

Gail Osherenko
Research Scientist (law & policy)
4308 Marine Science Institute
University of California
Santa Barbara CA 93106-6150
Tel. (805) 893 5891
Cell (805) 886 1182

Minling Pan
NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
2570 Dole St.
Honolulu HI 96822

Sam Pooley
NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
2570 Dole St.
Honolulu HI 96822

Naresh Pradhan
University of Hawaii at Manoa
1955 East West Road #218
Honolulu , Hawaii 96822
Phone: 808-9568810
Fax: 808-9569269

Vina Ram-Bidesi
Lecturer in Marine Studies
Marine Studies Programme
University of the South Pacific

Eileen Shea
East-West Center
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI
(808) 944-7253 (phone)
(808) 944-7298 (fax)

D.G. Webster
( University of Southern California)
2805 Perkins Ln.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

      The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE), the Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
PO Box 3000 : Boulder, CO 80307 USA : Tel: 303-497-8117 : Fax: 303-497-8125