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Toward sustainable management of small cetacean fisheries around Japan

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*Tel: 81-45-788-7514.
Fax: 81-45-788-5004. Email: okamura@fra.affrc.go.jp

Abstract

Abstract:  The management of Japanese domestic fisheries for small cetaceans has been based on a traditional approach that involves only the best set of assumptions and data. However, uncertainty, which is pervasive and inevitable for most fisheries resources, often leads the traditional approach to serious failure. Here is presented the basic framework of a simulation-based approach with a simple Bayesian method that is applicable to Japanese fisheries for small cetaceans. For illustration, the simulation model was applied to Dall's porpoise data in order to investigate the robustness of several management procedures against uncertainty. The simulation showed that the current management procedure, based on only the best values, could fail to manage the stocks at a considerably high probability. However, the use of the conservative management procedure, potential biological removal, permits the sustainable harvesting of Dall's porpoise for at least 100 years into the future, even under uncertainty. In conjunction with a firm structure for implementation of management procedures, the spread of simulation-based approaches will quickly enable successful sustainable management of small cetaceans.

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