Modeling the Spatial Dynamics of International Tuna Fleets

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Plos One


We developed an iterative sequential random utility model to investigate the social and environmental determinants of the spatiotemporal decision process of tuna purse-seine fishery fishing effort in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Operations of the fishing gear mark checkpoints in a continuous complex decision-making process. Individual fisher behavior is modeled by identifying diversified choices over decision-space for an entire fishing trip, which allows inclusion of prior and current vessel locations and conditions among the explanatory variables. Among these factors are vessel capacity; departure and arrival port; duration of the fishing trip; daily and cumulative distance travelled, which provides a proxy for operation costs; expected revenue; oceanographic conditions; and tons of fish on board. The model uses a two-step decision process to capture the probability of a vessel choosing a specific fishing region for the first set and the probability of switching to ( or staying in) a specific region to fish before returning to its landing port. The model provides a means to anticipate the success of marine resource management, and it can be used to evaluate fleet diversity in fisher behavior, the impact of climate variability, and the stability and resilience of complex coupled human and natural systems.




Multidisciplinary Sciences

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