InterJournal Complex Systems, 908
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [908]
Submission Date: 2004
Predictive Modelling for Fisheries Management in the Colombian Amazon
Author(s): Jacob Beal ,Sara Bennett

Subject(s): CX.4

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Abstract:

A group of small indigenous communities and Amacayacu National Park are experimenting with the design and implementation of regulations intended to recover and maintain the integrity and productivity of their shared natural resources, especially the fish populations on which they depend. We are modeling the behavior and stability of alternative management schemes for this system with the objective of developing guidelines for strategic future investment of time, energy, and money. The goal is to improve the probability of actually achieving fair, sustainable and community-managed subsistence fishing in the region. Sustainable long-term use of common pool resources is an inherently difficult political challenge. The Amacayacu communities face the additional complications of complex and poorly-understood ecosystems, uncontrolled demographic growth and cultural change in the population of legitimate resource appropriators, weak and often corrupt national and regional institutions, and primitive transportation and communication infrastructure. Balanced against these are the positive factors of a relatively small and well-defined population of users, appropriation practices that can be monitored relatively effectively at relatively low cost, recognition of the legitimacy of local regulations by regional and national institutions, and an explicit commitment on the part of the appropriator population to developing fair, sustainable, and democratic ground rules for natural resource use. We approach this problem from the perspective of self-organizing commons management principles [1] and present a first-draft model for human/fish interactions in the Amacayacu region based on common-pool resource non-cooperative games [2], along with analysis and comparison of some of the model's preliminary predictions with field results. [1] Ostrom, "Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action". Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990. [2] Ostrom, Gardner, and Walker, "Rules, Games, & Common Pool Resources". Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.

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