Overconfidence in model projections

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Abstract

There is considerable public and political interest in the state of marine ecosystems and fisheries, but the reliability of some recent projections has been called into question. New information about declining fish stocks, loss of biodiversity, climate impacts, and management failure is frequently reported in the major news media, based on publications in prominent scientific journals. Public and political awareness of the generally negative changes taking place in marine ecosystems is welcome, especially if it results in effective remedial action, but the scientific basis for such action must be reliable and uncertainties arising from models and data shortcomings must be presented fully and transparently. Scientific journals play an important role and should require more detailed analysis and presentation of uncertainties.

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