Title Climate Variability: Implications for Tuna Management
Type Research Project
Abstract The goal of this collaborative research is to 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 also addresses the value of improved predictability. The project's activities consist of several interrelated components. The empirical component, led by Dr. Miller, 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.
Participants Kathleen Miller
Robert McKelvey (University of Montana
Peter Golubtsov (Moscow State Lomonsov University, Russia)
Start Date July 2003
Funders NSF
Keywords fisheries, game theory, international cooperation
Research Themes Climate-Ecosystem-Human Interactions
Vulnerability, Adaptation, Thresholds and Resilience


"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)