Scientists as facilitators: An objective technique to illustrate a zone of stakeholder consensus
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The inherent conflicts between objectives in fisheries management (e.g. yield max-imization vs. conservation interests) often create problems for managers, scientists and stake-holders. However, some seemingly contrasting objectives may be compatible (e.g. economic yield and ecosystem preservation) and could promote stakeholder consensus. Formalized scientific facilitation through the framework we present here aids stakeholders in objective-setting and managers in the policy-making process. The purpose of this study is to outline a quantitative approach to defining fisheries management objectives through stakeholder-specific utility functions. To achieve this, we link a biological model with a socio-economic model, both calibrated for a capelin fishery and a cod fishery. Second, we define multiple objectives in a quantified utility function for each stakeholder group. Finally, we conduct simulations that calculated the resulting stakeholder groups’ utility for different levels of harvest and minimum sizes. Our results illustrate that low harvest rates and minimum-size regulations that select for bigger fish represent a management consensus zone among five modeled stakeholders. We put forward a new technique of scientific facilitation through quantification of bio-socio-economic objectives leading to sustainable resource use through stakeholder consensus. Keywords: fisheries management, stakeholders, stakeholder integration, utility functions, stakeholder preferences, population modeling, stakeholder consensus, management objec-tives, consensus building, ecosystem preservation