AMPLE: An R package for capacity building on fisheries harvest strategies

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 8;17(6):e0269543. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269543. eCollection 2022.


Fisheries harvest strategies are formal frameworks that represent a best-practice approach for sustainable fisheries management. A key component of a harvest strategy is a ‘pre-agreed rule’, known as a harvest control rule (HCR), that sets fishing opportunities, e.g. catch limits, based on an estimate of fish stock status, e.g. estimated stock biomass. The harvest strategy development process is driven by stakeholders who are required to make a range of informed decisions, including on the selection of the preferred HCR. Capacity building may be required to facilitate the stakeholder engagement, particularly regarding the technical components of harvest strategies, including HCRs. The AMPLE package for R provides three interactive apps that support capacity building and stakeholder engagement on HCRs. These apps have been used during in-country national workshops around the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) to support the development of harvest strategies for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. These apps include several novel features: they take users from a gentle introduction to how HCRs work, to using methods for testing, comparing and selecting a preferred HCR from a suite of candidates. They include an introduction to the impact of uncertainty on the performance of an HCR, introduce performance indicators and discuss methods for selecting the preferred HCR based on management objectives. As such they provide a more detailed overview of HCRs than currently existing alternatives. These apps provide an effective platform for hands-on learning and have proven to be successful at supporting capacity building on HCRs in the WCPO. For example, using them for group activities and competitions stimulated productive discussions and increased understanding. As the model fishery in AMPLE is generic and not based on a real example, the apps will also be of interest to scientists, managers and stakeholders developing harvest strategies in other regions.

PMID:35675276 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0269543


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