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A combined ecosystem and value chain modeling approach for evaluating societal cost and benefit of fishing

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We describe a combined ecological and economic approach aimed at giving more equal emphasis to both disciplines, while being integrated so that design, analysis, data entry and storage, and result capabilities are developed with emphasis on deriving a user-friendly, easily accessible tool. We have thus developed the approach as an integrated module of the freely available Ecopath with Ecosim scientific software; the world's most widely applied ecological modeling tool. We link the trophic ecosystem model to a value-chain approach where we explicitly and in considerable detail keep track of the flow (amounts, revenue, and costs) of fish products from sea through to the end consumer. We also describe the social aspects of the fish production and trade, by evaluating employment and income diagnostics. This is done with emphasis on distribution income while accounting for social aspects of the fishing sector. From a management perspective, one of the interesting aspects of the approach we introduce here, is that it opens for direct evaluation of what impact management interventions, e.g., quota settings, effort regulation, or area closures, may have on the ecosystem, the economy and the social setting, as well as on food availability for the consumer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-864
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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