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Decision theory as a tool in sockeye salmon management of the Babine system Sheehan, Stephen W.

Abstract

A procedure for applying the concepts of Bayesian decision theory to salmon management is presented and illustrated with an application to the Babine system sockeye salmon fishery in British Columbia. The particular decision considered is the recommended escapement to aim for in a given year. The Babine fishery is described and the decision theory concepts are outlined. The procedure involves defining the relationship between the recommended spawning escapement and the number of adults returning in the cycle year in probabilistic terms; defining the utility, that is the relative desirability of various sizes of catch; and computing the total expected utility of both the catch in the current year and the spawning returns associated with alternative values of the recommended escapement. The escapement with the maximum expected utility should be chosen and recommended.

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