Modelling fisher behaviour in Filippino tuna Purse Seine fisheries

Project

Modelling fisher behaviour in Filippino tuna Purse Seine fisheries

Governance mechanisms have been implemented to address sustainability problems in the tuna fishery of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. However, they have failed due to poor understanding of the behaviour of tuna fishery actors and the dynamics of tuna fishery system as a complex adaptive human-in-nature system; characterised by feedbacks between social and ecological components of the system, nonlinear processes, cross-scale and cross-space interactions, and adaptability of actors.

The complex adaptive nature of the tuna fishery system calls for governance mechanisms that examine in greater depth how tuna fishery actors adapt to changes in the system, consider the feedbacks between social and ecological dimensions, and a shift of focus in governance from targeting a single optimal equilibrium to improving adaptive capacity to the dynamics of the system.  This research will model fisher behaviour in a complex adaptive tuna fishery system,  to provide insights on what governance mechanisms are a better match to the complexity and adaptive nature of the tuna fishery system.

The proposed research explores the possibility of incentive-based approaches to mitigate the impacts of overfishing tuna stocks in the Coral Triangle and Western Pacific by incentivizing sustainable fishing practices and funding the management of tuna stocks in the region.

This research will model behaviour of tuna fishery actors in a complex adaptive tuna fishery system,  to provide insights on what governance mechanisms are a better match to the complex adaptive human-in-nature tuna fishery system.

Research questions

  1. What are the factors and processes of tuna fishery actor decision making under a non-governed tuna fishery in the WCPO?
  2. How does the tuna fishery system in the WCPO and its components behave under different (state and market-based) governance mechanisms?
  3. What governance mechanisms are more adaptive to changes in the system, including behaviour of actors and social structure, and what changes in the current WCPO tuna policy are need to make it more adaptive?