Participatory planning and decision support for ecosystem based fisheries management of the west coast of Scotland

Kåre N. Nielsen*, Alan R. Baudron, Niall G. Fallon, Paul G. Fernandes, Mika Rahikainen, Michaela Aschan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mixed fisheries and the marine ecosystems that sustain them are complex entities and involve multiple and potentially conflicting management objectives and stakeholder interests. The presence of multiple trade-offs complicates the identification of strategies that satisfy various policy requirements while being acceptable to affected stakeholder groups. This creates a demand for tools and processes that support learning, cooperation and planning. We report on the application of decision support methodology used in combination with a co-creation approach to scenario based planning for the demersal fisheries of the West coast of Scotland. These fisheries face significant challenges, such as the depletion of key stocks and increased predation by seals. In collaboration with stakeholders we identified generic management alternatives and indicators to evaluate their performance in a structured evaluation using Multi Criteria Analysis. We identify the potential and limitations of this approach and suggest how it can contribute to Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM). This approach does not provide tactical management advice, but stimulates learning and creates an opportunity for stakeholders to search for strategic and policy relevant solutions in an EBFM context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalFisheries Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Co-creation
  • Decision support
  • EBFM
  • Ecopath with Ecosim
  • Multi-criteria analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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