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A Framework For Selecting A Suite Of Indicators For Fisheries Management

J. Rice, M. Rochet
Published 2005 · Biology

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We develop a framework for the objective selection of a suite of indicators for use in fisheries management. The framework encompasses eight steps, and provides guidance on pitfalls to be avoided at each step. Step I identifies user groups and their needs, featuring the setting of operational objectives, and Step 2 identifies a corresponding list of candidate indicators. Step 3 assigns weights to nine screening criteria for the candidate indicators: concreteness, theoretical basis, public awareness, cost, measurement, historic data, sensitivity, responsiveness, and specificity. Step 4 scores the indicators against the criteria, and Step 5 summarizes the results. Steps 3-5 offer technical aspects on which guidance is provided, including scoring standards for criteria and a generalized method for applying the standards when scoring individual indicators. Multi-criterion summarization methods are recommended for most applications. Steps 6 and 7 are concerned with deciding how many indicators are needed, and making the final selection of complementary suites of indicators. Ordinarily, these steps are done interactively with the users of the indicators, thus providing guidance on process rather than technical approach. Step 8 is the clear presentation to all users of the information contained. The discussion also includes the special case in which indicators are used in formal decision rules.
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