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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Spatial Economic Toolbox for Fisheries (FishSET)

The ESSR Program, working with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, is developing a set of data management and modeling tools to better incorporate fisheries data and predictive models in the fisheries management process. Since the 1980s, fisheries economists have employed spatial economic models in a variety of fisheries to better understand and statistically explain what factors influence the spatial and participation choices that fishermen make on the fishing grounds.

The Spatial Economic Toolbox for Fisheries (FishSET) will provide tools for analysts to better predict how fisheries will spatially respond to different hypothetical or actual management actions. In addition to developing a software package that brings together the principle existing spatial economic models, FishSET will provide a collection of tools that will allow for the maintenance, integration, and data quality verification of different data sets in all of the NMFS Regions.

FishSET will also allow easy comparison between models developed in the future and the suite of existing fisher location choice models. This will provide analysts with a clearer understanding of the strengths of different modeling methods and will facilitate development of better models.

Data and models for many spatial management problems will be developed before policy questions arise so that they can be better utilized in decision making. The FishSET toolbox will be developed and refined through 2011-12.

By Alan Haynie

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