Honeycomb: a spatio-temporal simulation model to evaluate management strategies and assessment methods

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Abstract

In recent years, scientists providing advice to fisheries managers have been granted access to an increasing range of spatio-temporal data from fishing vessels, using tools such as vessel monitoring systems and electronic observation platforms. This information should allow for the provision of more germane advice on the activity of vessels, and hence the likely impact of management measures which are becoming increasingly spatial in nature. However, the development of appropriate management simulation and assessment models has lagged behind the availability of these new data. This paper presents an accessible spatio-temporal simulation framework (Honeycomb) which features a weekly time-step, multiple stocks and vessels, and economic decision rules and applies this to a case study of a spatial evaluation of a simple closed-area fishery policy. We conclude that the development and utilization of such spatio-temporal simulation models is a key research task for fisheries in which both spatial fisheries data and spatial fisheries management are becoming paramount.

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