|Policy instruments to meet fisheries management objectives in Belgian fisheries|Stouten, H.; Heene, A.; Gellynck, X.; Polet, H. (2011). Policy instruments to meet fisheries management objectives in Belgian fisheries. Fish. Res. 111(1-2): 8-23. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2011.06.007
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836, more
Policy instruments; Management objectives; Social welfare functions;
Although managing fisheries is complex, policymakers must make decisions daily that affect the future of aquatic resources. To make these decisions, they often combine a mental model with lessons learned from formal models such as computer models. While such computer models are frequently interpreted as predictors of the future, they are often more valuable when used as tools for learning about fisheries and options for management. This approach, looking at computer simulations as learning laboratories, is what this study is all about since its objective is to investigate by means of a microworld if policymakers in Belgian fisheries have the policy instruments at hand to align the real fisheries world with their often completely different desired fisheries worlds. This study illustrates based on running multiple scenarios through Stouten's (Stouten, 2009, 2010) "Belgian Fisheries Microworld" that these policy makers do have the policy instruments at hand to meet four totally different desired social welfare functions resembling different interesting views on fisheries currently present in policy maker's mental models. These views are labelled: (1) "A bigger industry is a better industry", (2) "Small but wealthy", (3) "Keep them quiet and satisfied at low expenses", and (4) "Let's go green". However, these desired social welfare functions can only be met when: (1) fisheries management objectives are truly prioritized before implementing a management system, (2) the interdependencies between objectives are taken into account, (3) counterintuitive (surprising) outcomes due to "misperceptions of feedback" are foreseen, and (4) the right mixture of policy instruments is determined.