skip to main content

Title: Classifying fishing behavioral diversity using high-frequency movement data
Effective management of social-ecological systems (SESs) requires an understanding of human behavior. In many SESs, there are hundreds of agents or more interacting with governance and regulatory institutions, driving management outcomes through collective behavior. Agents in these systems often display consistent behavioral characteristics over time that can help reduce the dimensionality of SES data by enabling the assignment of types. Typologies of resource-user behavior both enrich our knowledge of user cultures and provide critical information for management. Here, we develop a data-driven framework to identify resource-user typologies in SESs with high-dimensional data. To demonstrate policy applications, we apply the framework to a tightly coupled SES, commercial fishing. We leverage large fisheries-dependent datasets that include mandatory vessel logbooks, observer datasets, and high-resolution geospatial vessel tracking technologies. We first quantify vessel and behavioral characteristics using data that encode fishers’ spatial decisions and behaviors. We then use clustering to classify these characteristics into discrete fishing behavioral types (FBTs), determining that 3 types emerge in our case study. Finally, we investigate how a series of disturbances applied selection pressure on these FBTs, causing the disproportionate loss of one group. Our framework not only provides an efficient and unbiased method for identifying FBTs in near real time, but it can also improve management outcomes by enabling ex ante investigation of the consequences of disturbances such as policy actions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range / eLocation ID:
16811 to 16816
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Policy interest in socio‐ecological systems has driven attempts to define and map socio‐ecological zones (SEZs), that is, spatial regions, distinguishable by their conjoined social and bio‐geo‐physical characteristics. The state of Idaho, USA, has a strong need for SEZ designations because of potential conflicts between rapidly increasing and impactful human populations, and proximal natural ecosystems. Our Idaho SEZs address analytical shortcomings in previously published SEZs by: (1) considering potential biases of clustering methods, (2) cross‐validating SEZ classifications, (3) measuring the relative importance of bio‐geo‐physical and social system predictors, and (4) considering spatial autocorrelation. We obtained authoritative bio‐geo‐physical and social system datasets for Idaho, aggregated into 5‐km grids = 25 km2, and decomposed these using principal components analyses (PCAs). PCA scores were classified using two clustering techniques commonly used in SEZ mapping: hierarchical clustering with Ward's linkage, andk‐means analysis. Classification evaluators indicated that eight‐ and five‐cluster solutions were optimal for the bio‐geo‐physical and social datasets for Ward's linkage, resulting in 31 SEZ composite types, and six‐ and five‐cluster solutions were optimal fork‐means analysis, resulting in 24 SEZ composite types. Ward's andk‐means solutions were similar for bio‐geo‐physical and social classifications with similar numbers of clusters. Further, both classifiers identified the same dominant SEZ composites. For rarer SEZs, however, classification methods strongly affected SEZ classifications, potentially altering land management perspectives. Our SEZs identify several critical regions of social–ecological overlap. These include suburban interface types and a high desert transition zone. Based on multinomial generalized linear models, bio‐geo‐physical information explained more variation in SEZs than social system data, after controlling for spatial autocorrelation, under both Ward's andk‐means approaches. Agreement (cross‐validation) levels were high for multinomial models with bio‐geo‐physical and social predictors for both Ward's andk‐means SEZs. A consideration of historical drivers, including indigenous social systems, and current trajectories of land and resource management in Idaho, indicates a strong need for rigorous SEZ designations to guide development and conservation in the region. Our analytical framework can be broadly applied in SES research and applied in other regions, when categorical responses—including cluster designations—have a spatial component.

    more » « less
  2. To promote the resilience and sustainability of coastal social-ecological systems (SES), it is necessary to implement adaptive and participatory management schemes. Successful examples of adaptation to the rapid change in coastal SES exist, but the question of whether these cases may be scalable to other regions and contexts remains. To this end, the present study aimed to identify how successful management strategies implemented in a fishing cooperative in Baja California, Mexico, can be adapted to other coastal SES. In particular, this study aimed to understand whether adaptive co-management of Isla Natividad (IN) could be replicated in Isla Todos Santos (ITS), a biophysically similar coastal SES to IN but with different results with regard to fisheries management. We found that the resource systems and resources in both SESs were similar. However, there were substantial differences with regard to governance and resource users. In Isla Natividad, the level of organization orchestrated by the resource users has contributed to establishing rules and sanctions that have supported the sustainable use of fishery resources. On the contrary, in ITS, the number of resource users and their socioeconomic attributes have impeded the establishment of effective rules or sanctions. The results of this study suggest that the ITS governance system needs to be improved in order to adapt some of the IN management strategies to increase its adaptive capacity. To promote successful adaptive management, it is necessary to develop context-specific adaptive pathways that contribute to greater resilience in the SESs of this region and in other regions that face similar conditions. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Fishing behavior is an important link between management decisions and bioeconomic outcomes. The diversity in fishers’ behavior, motivations, and abilities should inform incentive structures if management aims to consider heterogeneous impacts on and by communities. Modeling human behavior in resource management is important for successful fisheries, especially for fisheries undergoing rapid transformation, such as the Alaskan snow crab fishery. This study modeled how snow crabbers choose where to fish in the eastern Bering Sea and examined the diversity of strategies among individuals by fitting a random utility model to data on fishing locations using a variety of potential drivers of behavior as covariates. The overall fishing strategy of the snow crab fleet prioritizes revenue and shared information, while avoiding risk, poor weather, and cost. Diversity of fishing strategies was driven by differences in spatial footprint, vessel size, and ports of landing. Larger vessels ventured farther north, where weather conditions are more extreme. Despite differences in vessel size, crabbers were spatially adaptive and switched fishing regions depending on the abundance and distribution of crab. These findings on the patterns of fishing strategies can inform better management of the Alaskan snow crab fishery as it undergoes rebuilding.

    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    The socio-ecological systems (SESs) framework provides cross-disciplinary insight into complex environmental problems. Numerous studies have applied the SES framework to coastal and marine environments over the last two decades. We review and analyze 98 of those studies to (i) describe how SES concepts were examined and measured, (ii) describe how the studies included feedbacks and thresholds, and (iii) identify and analyze elements unique to coastal and marine SES frameworks. We find that progress has been made in understanding key SES properties in coastal and marine ecosystems, which include resilience, adaptive capacity, vulnerability, and governance. A variety of methods has been developed and applied to analyze these features qualitatively and quantitatively. We also find that recent studies have incorporated land-based stressors in their analyses of coastal issues related to nutrient runoff, bacterial pollution, and management of anadromous species to represent explicit links in land-to-sea continuums. However, the literature has yet to identify methods and data that can be used to provide causal evidence of non-linearities and thresholds within SES. In addition, our findings suggest that greater alignment and consistency are needed in models with regard to metrics and spatial boundaries between ecological and social systems to take full advantage of the SES framework and improve coastal and marine management. 
    more » « less
  5. The ocean is vast, but there is limited space for increasing uses, especially in coastal areas where fishing, aquaculture, transportation, tourism, energy and mineral extraction, and other activities occur. Collaboration and creativity are needed to maximize benefits and reduce conflicts. Multi-use (MU) is defined as the intentional joint use of ocean space and resources by two or more users in close geographic proximity. It represents a significant change from the concept of exclusive resource rights and aims to achieve the sharing of resources and finding synergies. MU has gained attention in recent years and has been highlighted in European Union policy and research programs, but there is limited experience with MU enactment and evaluation of its ramifications. The MULTI-FRAME project, awarded by the Belmont Forum with funding from national governments, is a multi-disciplinary partnership involving 7 countries. The project is exploring the potential for MU in 6 case studies with varying uses to understand strengths and challenges. A literature review of many tools and techniques used in marine spatial planning and other resource decision-making was first conducted. Based on this review and anticipated stakeholder engagement, a comprehensive yet flexible approach was developed to assess the potential of ocean MU. The planned approach generally follows the “Orders of Outcomes” of Olsen (2003), which is a framework used to gage progress toward the goals of integrated coastal management. A similar approach was successfully employed to guide the citing of the U.S.’s first offshore windfarm in Rhode Island and has advanced management in numerous countries and communities around the globe. A critical focus will be the evaluation of “enabling conditions” for MU potential, determining the possibility for scaling up implementation geographically and with respect to governance levels. Stakeholder engagement in the case studies will employ and refine the assessment approach. 
    more » « less