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Ecosystem Dynamic Behavior Model (EDBM)

Sustainable Flows’ Ecosystem Dynamic Behavior Model improves yields and sustainability by revealing interactions among fish populations, ecosystem functions and fisher decision making. EDMB’s modular components are easily adapted and integrated into most fisheries management programs and the Model has already improved management strategies and optimized data collection.



Regardless of their current level of sophistication, fisheries management systems need to begin embracing complex modeling in order to address emerging challenges. Most fisheries management systems have procedures to review potential strategies before implementing them and to refine those strategies over time.  However, growing technical capacity of managers and improvements in technology are providing opportunities to:



EDBM’s flexibility allows its components to be adapted and integrated into a fisheries’ existing management system. Based on Management Strategy Evaluation methods, these components are organized in 5 generic phases:



Box 1: EDBM individual-based modeling techniques

codingsmal    arrow   red-grouper

EDBM recreates some of the system dynamics among fishers and their environment. Through data analysis, theories about fisher decision making and fish biology are coded as “individuals” that interact with one another in realistic ways. By altering these behavior parameters against different management strategies (e.g. fishing boundaries, catch limits), managers are able to understand how these individuals agents affect one another and ultimately yields and sustainability. For example, to test how different marine protected area boundaries impact the location, costs and yields of fishing and also fish populations, several boundaries can be modeled showing how and why fishing patterns changed. Over time, EDBM’s predictions are validated and refined while new parameters are added, thus increasing managers’ capacity to reduce risks from emerging and unforeseen environmental and economic challenges.


Box 2: EDBM’s visual component

fishing_effortf biomass

EDBM’s visual component provides numerous graphics that simplify how the model interprets different management scenarios. Allowing stakeholders, for example, to see how fishing effort and biomass change over time under different scenarios. This helps improve stakeholder confidence in and support of management strategies. The scenario shown here suggests that fishers concentrate their efforts in the northeastern portion of the study area.