Using an incremental approach for "wicked problems" in fisheries management and marine EBM

Using an incremental approach for “wicked problems” in fisheries management and marine EBM.mp4

This webinar originally aired on 16 September 2021.

Presented by: Jon Hare of NOAA Fisheries

Ecosystem-based management is a ‘wicked problem’, that is, a problem that is impossible or nearly impossible to solve because it is so complex. When I made the switch from scientist to scientific administrator in NOAA Fisheries in 2016, I brought a natural scientist’s perspective to ecosystem-based management (EBM), emphasizing understanding the components of an ecosystem and providing this understanding to managers as scientific advice. As I embarked on my new job – working with fishers to reduce the risk of entanglement to North Atlantic Right Whales; providing advice on how to balance the needs of offshore wind-energy development, commercial and recreational fishing, and wildlife conservation; and working to bring climate and ecosystem information into fisheries management – I came to realize that a different approach to management and decision-making – incrementalism – is needed. Incrementalism recognizes stakeholders (including scientists) have different perspective of the issues and that decision-making represents a compromise among these different perspectives. It provides for continued work on a problem and implements decisions stepwise with the participation of all stakeholders. In this webinar, I will discuss the origins of incrementalism, how it can be applied to fisheries management and marine EBM, and 10 lessons that I have learned for carrying out NOAA Fisheries’ mission to provide advice “backed by sound science and an ecosystem-based approach to management”.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (EBM Tools Network, The Skimmer, OpenChannels, MPA News, MarineDebris.info)