Computer-Implemented Simulation as a Planning Aid for State Fisheries Management Agencies

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Virginia Tech. Division of Forestry and Wildlife Resources

A basic job of fisheries management agencies is to forecast the demand and produce the necessary supply of fishing opportunities. Present day angling consumption rates often exceed managers' ability to supply fishing opportunities of the desired quality. Therefore, a primary means for improving fisheries management may be to regulate angling consumption. Operations research techniques are well suited for handling the complexities involved with planning multiple action policies for regulating angler consumption. PISCES is a computer-implemented simulator of the inland fisheries management system of Tennessee, but is adaptable for use in any state. The purpose of PISCES is to aid in planning fisheries management decision policies at the macro-level. PISCES generates predictions of how fisheries management agency activities will affect angler use for a fiscal year. Subjective probability distributions for random variables and Monte Carlo simulation techniques are employed to produce an expected value and standard deviation for each prediction. Test runs under realistic hypothetical situations and discussions with personnel of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency suggest that PISCES may help fisheries management agencies to improve budget allocation decisions, to formulate multiple action policies for regulating angler use, and to enhance fisheries development. A hypothetical application of PISCES in Tennessee is given.