Type II errors in statistics (Clemen 1991). Type III errors give rise to the wrong question being asked, given the available information. In the above example, decision makers could be short-sighted if they decided to restrict water withdrawals in an effort to improve water quality above dams that limit access unless plans to improve habitat occupation were also in the works.

These exercises are only illustrative. People with in-depth knowledge of and experience with physical, biological, social, and political environments need to undertake these risk-management decision processes. In addition, people who must live with the consequences of these management decisions should be involved, otherwise the decisions will be difficult to implement.

Conclusions and Recommendations

This discussion has attempted to show how decision analysis could be a helpful tool in sorting through the myriad choices of potential recovery strategies for Atlantic salmon. The approach could be used to understand the value of gaining additional information through baseline assessment, research, and monitoring. The potential value of missing information would become apparent in considering specific decision choices. Another application would be to clarify the role of different stocking strategies. The value of expanding fisheries on non-DPS rivers could be evaluated against the chance of attaining recovery goals on listed rivers. The issue of number, location, and controls on aquaculture facilities also needs to be examined. Habitat restoration measures designed to mitigate the adverse effects of erosion and sedimentation, reduced in-stream flow and elevated temperatures, and pollutant loading should be investigated for their potential contribution to recovery.

The committee recommends that recovery planning efforts for Atlantic salmon in Maine rivers employ structured, systematic, strategically focused decision making processes for developing conservation and recovery objectives and analyzing the optional approaches for achieving them. All stakeholders need to be involved in this process to ensure its validity and acceptability. The committee further recommends that recovery planners engage the services of an expert in the field of strategic decision analysis, especially someone experienced in its application for natural resource problems, to advise them in their endeavors. These activities will need to be repeated when changes in environmental conditions or human interventions change conditions relevant to the analysis. The committee also recommends research on the socioeconomic effects to changes in aquaculture (discussed in Chapter 5).

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