Managing the spread of pathogens and aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes recreational fishery: An application of the drivers-pressures-state-impacts-responses framework
The Great Lakes are one of the most invaded aquatic ecosystems in the world, and the spread of fish pathogens and aquatic invasive species (AIS) has become a serious issue for fishery management in the Great Lakes. Our study applies the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses model (DPSIR) to identify social-ecological linkages in the spread of pathogens and AIS by anglers, boaters, and bait dealers in the Great Lakes. We developed a conceptual DPSIR model based on input by staff members in governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations that have been involved in the management of pathogens and AIS. The integration of managers' input to develop the model is a novel approach for understanding fisheries. Most previous studies using the DPSIR framework did not account for natural resource managers' input even though the DPSIR framework is frequently applied to provide information to these groups. The identified relationships in our model provide multiple entry points for empirical, interdisciplinary research. These studies would help understand the effectiveness of management responses to change human behaviors, and to understand and predict changes in the Great Lakes ecosystem and fishery. The model could also be used to promote understanding of the impacts of pathogens and AIS on the fishery, and to increase awareness of human behaviors that contribute to the continued spread. Future studies could further expand or replicate the model with input by other stakeholder groups such as bait dealers and/or anglers and boaters to identify if these groups share an understanding of the management problem and responses.