A quest for management objectives – case study on the Barents Sea Capelin
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The Barents Sea capelin is a short lived arctic pelagic species and a shared Norwegian-Russian stock. Although the management objectives for Barents Sea capelin have not been explicitly stated, the management authorities have agreed on a harvest control rule. The main element of the harvest control rule is a target spawning stock escapement strategy. Within Norway there are several stakeholders groups. These groups differ in their view of how the capelin resource should be utilized. Broadly speaking the views range from coastal fishers that argue that the main objective should be no capelin fishery in order to maximize cod availability (cod follows and feeds on the capelin migrating to the spawning areas near the coast) to the deep sea fishers who tend to argue for a maximization of the output (value) of the capelin fishery. The aim of the present paper is to systematize and indentify core elements in the view of the stakeholder groups in an ecological and economic context, and how communication and dialogue between stakeholders, fishery scientists and managing authorities can take place in order to obtain a consensus of how to best utilize this stock in a long term view. On a background of the biological knowledge base of the capelin, further emphasis is put on the role of the scientists in transforming a possible consensus view into an operational harvest control rule. Keywords: Short lived pelagic species, management objectives, stakeholder views, harvest control rules.