Aligning monitoring design with fishery decision-making: Examples of management strategy evaluation for reef-associated fisheries

William J. Harford, Elizabeth A Babcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Limitations in data quantity and quality are common in fisheries management and affect whether and how stock assessments are carried out. We demonstrate the applicability of spatially-explicit management strategy evaluation (MSE) for connecting sampling designs of substrate-associated fishes in highly heterogeneous habitats to evaluation of stock status and to decision-making. Simulation-based analysis is conducted to understand how survey precision influences assessment and decision-making performance for a black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci) fishery within the Florida Keys reef tract. Rather than delving into statistical principles of survey design, we examine the performance of well-designed surveys in the currency of achieving fishery management objectives. In practical terms, our approach draws attention to subtle aspects of how data precision can affect achievement of management objectives. Our discussion centers on the idea that the interconnected properties of survey precision, stock assessment, and precaution taken in decision-making must be jointly considered in fisheries management policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205
JournalAquatic Living Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016



  • Fishery management
  • Natural resource monitoring
  • Simulation model
  • Survey design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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