Empiricism and Modeling for Marine Fisheries: Advancing an Interdisciplinary Science

Last modified: 
April 19, 2017 - 10:10pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 03/2017
Authors: Timothy Essington, Lorenzo Ciannelli, Selina Heppell, Phillip Levin, Timothy McClanahan, Fiorenza Micheli, Éva Plagányi, Ingrid van Putten
Journal title: Ecosystems
Volume: 20
Issue: 2
Pages: 237 - 244
ISSN: 1432-9840

Marine fisheries science is a broad field that is fundamentally concerned with sustainability across ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Ensuring the delivery of food, security, equity, and well-being while sustaining ecosystems in the face of rapid change is, by far, the main challenge facing marine fisheries. A tighter integration of modeling and empiricism is needed to confront this challenge. In particular, improved incorporation of empirically grounded and realistic representation of human behaviors into models will greatly enhance our ability to predict likely outcomes under alternative adaptive strategies. Challenges to this integration certainly exist, but many of these can be overcome via improved professional training that reduces cultural rifts between empiricists and modelers and between natural and social sciences, ideally ending the presumption that there is a divide between empiricism and modeling.

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