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Review And Refinement Of An Existing Qualitative Risk Assessment Method For Application Within An Ecosystem-based Management Framework

W. J. Fletcher
Published 2015 · Biology

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The adoption of risk-based methodologies is considered essential for the successful implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries and broader aquatic management. To assist with these initiatives, one of the qualitative risk assessment methods adapted for fisheries management over adecade agohas been reviewed. Thismethodwasupdated toensure compliancewith the revised international standards for riskmanagement (ISO 31000) and to enable consideration of ecological, economic, social, and governance risks. The review also addressed the difficulties that have been encountered in stakeholder understanding of the underlying concepts and to increase the discipline in its application. The updates include simplifying the number of consequence and likelihood levels, adopting graphical techniques to represent different consequence levels, and discussing how changes in uncertainty can affect risk scores. Adopting an explicit “weight of evidence” approach has also assisted with determining which consequence scenarios are considered plausible and, where relevant, their specific likelihoods. The revisedmethods therefore incorporate the conceptual elements from a number of qualitative and quantitative approaches increasing their reliability and enabling a more seamless transition along this spectrum as more lines of evidence are collected. It is expected that with continued application of these methods, further refinements will be identified.
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