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Subject: Re: Gulf Council seeks proposals for ecosystem modeling using Ecosism
From: Randy E Edwards <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 12 Jul 2006 14:27:47 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Bill Silvert's comments should be viewed as a very valuable contribution 
to a larger discussion of ecosystem based fishery management and the 
present feasibility of jumping into a modelling mode for Gulf of Mexico 
fisheries.

I urge everyone to look at the link (
http://bill.silvert.org/pdf/ECOPATH%20Report.pdf) on Bill's web page.  It 
should be required reading for all members of the Gulf Council (SSC and 
Council members/staff).  It is a very enlightening article.  I think Bill 
was being modest in the way he offhandedly referred to that work.

The discussion might also be enhanced if Carl Walters and Behzad Mahmoudi 
would address some of the conclusions of the aforementioned article with 
regard feasibility of modelling entire large fisheries using Ecopath 
specifically, and using modelling in general.  They may have some valuable 
counterpoints to offer to the discussion.  I, like most, am trying to keep 
an open mind and can use as much enlightenment as can be given.

However, many of the conclusions reservations in the Silvert article are 
completely consistent with most reactions from fish ecologists to the idea 
of developing and using models of large Gulf of Mexico fisheries for 
fishery management purposes.  So many of the ecological factors and 
interactions are still unknown or poorly understood.   Energetic models 
that do not address demography and population structure and growth can 
hardly be expected to be realistic.  Models that do not assess spatial 
considerations but instead lump all individuals of each species into a 
common compartment are similarly unlikely to be more than of pedagogic 
use.

The Gulf Council should be commended for moving forward into ecosystem 
based fishery management, and ultimately that is where fishery management 
must move, in my humble opinion.  However, the Gulf Council might benefit 
from taking a deep breath and getting broad and diversified opinions about 
modeling and its present potential.

Probably the issue of most practical importance to the Gulf Council and US 
marine fisheries in general with regard to ecosystem based fishery 
management is the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act that in its 
recently passed House and Senate versions has sidestepped ecosystem based 
fishery management by "allowing" but not mandating it.  Imagine how 
effective the original Magnuson Act would have been if it had "allowed" 
but not mandated the councils to stop overfishing. 

I am not sure if there is any practical hope of improving the Senate 
version (S. 2012) at this stage.  Most observers are just hoping that the 
Senate version prevails over Rep. Pombo's House bill (HR 5018).  I have 
been amazed at how little discussion of this important reauthorization has 
come from fishery scientists and conservation organizations during the 
last year.  There has been a little "buzz" lately, but it is probably too 
little too late and akin to closing the barn door after the horse has 
escaped -- given that all that is left is to reconcile the two versions. 
Oh well, we can get it right in ten more years.

Randy

Randy E. Edwards, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor

University of South Florida
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Geography
USGS Center For Coastal & Watershed Studies
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
Phone:  727/803-8747 (x3069)
FAX: 727/803-2031
[log in to unmask]

Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, 
don't 
tell them where they know the fish.  [Mark Twain]



Bill Silvert <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent by: Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
07/11/2006 08:37 AM
Please respond to
Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


To
[log in to unmask]
cc

Subject
Re: Gulf Council seeks proposals for ecosystem modeling using Ecosism






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Wow, they really have it backwards. They should start by looking at 
ecosystem modelling and then ask whether Ecosim fills the bill. I did some 

investigations of the North Sea with Ecosim and it really produces 
ridiculous results (www.bill.silvert.org/pdf, go to the bottom of the page 

for the Ecosim stuff).

Bill Silvert


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steven Atran" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:15 PM
Subject: Gulf Council seeks proposals for ecosystem modeling using Ecosism


> The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is seeking proposals from 
> qualified and experienced contractors to develop models based on Ecosim 
to 
> demonstrate the feasibility of using ecosystem modeling as a tool to 
> address fishery management issues of interest in the Gulf of Mexico 
> fisheries.  Issues of interest include: 

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