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7 Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements As demonstrated in We previous chapters, Me Bering Sea ecosystem, like all such systems around the globe, is very complex. It consists of physical, chemical, and biological components that interact in ways not completely understood. It is thus difficult to fully describe the ecosystem at any point in time or to make predictions about how it will change over time, with or without human input. Although measurements of some ecosystem components are possible and historical records for some are available (for example, the composition and relative sizes of various populations), our understanding of the Bering Sea ecosystem is necessarily incomplete. These uncertainties pose a significant challenge to any effort to develop policies and institutions to manage the Bering Sea ecosystem. Given the uncertainties in ecosystem structure and dynamics, what is the best approach for ecosystem management? It is important to recognize that the lack of complete understanding does not preclude effective ecosystem management. Management efforts must be based on what is known about ecosystem components and their interrelationships, as well as the likely effects of private and public human activities on the ecosystem. At the same time, however, management institutions should also provide a framework for improving the scientific understanding of the ecosystem through ongoing research and data collection activities. As understanding of the ecosystem improves, management policies must change accordingly. One of the most problematic aspects of ecosystem management is the selection of criteria by which the relative success of various management programs can be evaluated. Because of the political, economic, distributional, and cultural aspects of the issue, the committee thought that it would be presumptuous to select a specific set of criteria. The committee instead chose to describe a framework based on environmental economics that will provide a basis to evaluate different management programs. This framework views the Bering Sea ecosystem as an economic asset that can be used to provide a flow of goods and services over time. Treating environmental systems in this way is an established approach in environmental economics (see for example, Herfindahl and Kneese, 1974; Krutilla and Fisher, 1975; Pearce and Turner, 1990; Tietenberg, 1992). In this approach, the 'goods and services', include resources such as the scientific value of the ecosystem as a natural laboratory; the value of future catches; societal benefits resulting from the production of cultural, social, and aesthetic amenities; and Me value of the ecosystem as a transportation 238
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Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements 239 agent, as well as more traditional resources of the ecosystem, such as yearly fishery catches (NRC, 1994c). The basic idea of this approach is to list all possible resources (current and future), assign to each resource a monetary value and quantify all costs (direct and indirect) associated with its production, and then develop a management policy that max~n~zes the overall value of all resources in the ecosystem. Assigning an economic value to environmental resources is controversial and involves complex analysis of many factors, including He sustainability of production, the availability of substitute resources, the irreversibility of the production process, and intergenerational equity issues (NRC, 1994c). Even so, such a framework is useful because it explicitly considers the complex interdependencies of natural ecosystems and the large-scale, long-term effects of policy decisions. THE BERING SEA ECOSYSTEM AS AN ASSET The Bering Sea ecosystem can be viewed as an asset capable of producing a wide range of goods and services for humankind. Wise use of the asset can be defined in teens of the size, composition (types and relative amounts), and distribution (who gets what) of the flow of goods and services over tune. The production of most of the goods and services requires the input of other resources (e.g., it takes labor and boat days to produce fish). Wise use must also consider the flow of goods and services these other inputs could produce if used elsewhere. The range of goods and services should be defined as broadly as possible. It includes, among other things, fish for food and recreation, transportation, waste assimilation, the reduction of cultural, social, and aesthetic amenities, a natural laboratory for scientific research, and provision for the maintenance of certain species (e.g., through the Marine Mammal Protection Act). Some are produced and sold on the market, some are not. In some instances units of measure for production inputs of production and output levels are readily available, in other cases they are not. These differences make comparisons of goods and services flows problematic, and is another problem that must be faced explicitly when selecting success criteria for management. The basket of goods and services produced by the ecological asset during any given period depends on the combination of productive inputs) applied and on the state of the ecosystem.2 The state of the ecosystem, however, is itself affected by the various inputs and outputs to the system. The flow of total good and services through tune is therefore a function of the flow of the combinations of inputs through time. In other words, what society does today to obtain outputs affects the ecosystem, which will affect what society can get in the future. ~ The word input is used in the economic anthropocentric sense. It refers to hours of fishing, or ton/miles of transport, or labor and capital applied to oil production. It does not refer to inputs in the ecological sense, such as inputs of energy from the sun. 2 The state of the ecosystem is multidimensional, including physical, biological, and chemical aspects. The problems of description and measurement and of predicting changes over time have been noted in previous chapters.
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240 The Bering Sea Ecosystem One important attribute of an ecological system is that it changes over time, and therefore the same combination of inputs will not always produce the same basket of outputs. In addition, system responses are not always immediate. Some responses may take years or decades to manifest themselves. Moreover, current knowledge is not sufficient to predict how the system will change on its own or as a result of the application of various input combinations, or how the basket of outputs will change with changes in the ecosystem. It is useful to think of combinations of inputs and baskets of outputs because it makes the interdependencies explicit. There is no independent relationship between the input for one particular service and the level of output produced. For example, fishing for one species at a specific place and time can affect future catches of other species throughout the ecosystem. The equipment used to produce oil can affect the amounts and types of fishing activities as well as the routes vessels must take. The harvest of fish for commercial use will reduce the amount available for traditional use. The production of any of the goods and services from the ecological asset comes at a cost. There is the opportunity cost of the inputs and, potentially, the externality cost of lost production of other goods and services from the ecological asset now or in the future. This is a critical point for management and policy analysis. A particular service may be valued or desired, but often it can be obtained only by giving up another service. Good policy analysis requires that the choice be acknowledged. The composition of the inputs used at any point in time is the result of human choice. Much of it is determined by private choice, when profit or utility-max~mizing individuals or firms make decisions. Private choice is constrained and motivated by various rules and institutions established by government. For example, gear restrictions affect how fishermen operate, and tax laws and depreciation schedules affect investments in capital used to produce annual inputs to the ecological system. Some of the inputs result from collective choice, as when governments take direct actions such as military operations or pollution cleanup. Management Policy and Wise Use of the Ecological Asset Simply put, wise use of the ecological asset and the inputs used to exploit it requires that the flow of the combination of inputs used over time be structured such that the most desirable flow of output baskets over time is achieved. If the current flow is not the most desirable, management policy should attempt to change the combination of inputs used through indirect control of private choice and through collective choices such that the most desirable output flow is achieved. One major part of policy, therefore, is the design, implementation, and enforcement of rules and regulations that affect private choice and also lead to direct collective action. Knowledge is an important input in private and collective decision making, and yet because it
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Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements 241 is a public good, knowledge is likely underproduced.3 Therefore, another relevant role for policy is to provide knowledge that can be used in making private and public decisions. The criteria for success of the management system must include ways to compare different flows to output baskets through time, which is a very difficult task. Different flows can vary in the composition of output at any point in tune, and in the size and composition of output over time. Thus, to compare goods and services flows, it is necessary to place relative values on both present (yearly fishing catch, scientific research) and future (sustainable fishing yields) outputs. Many criteria can be used in ranking different flows of goods and services, including economic efficiency, distribution, and religious and cultural beliefs. On efficiency grounds, output flows would be ranked according to their net present value. This is part of current policy, in that many laws and regulations call for an efficiency analysis of policy actions (e.g., the "602" regulations ~mnIementina the National Standards in the Ma~nuson Act and Executive Order 122911. In addition to the net value of an output, the distribution of the output (both in any one period and over timed will affect how individuals rank alternatives. Societies frequently and knowingly make decisions that decrease the size of the pie on the basis that what is produced is distributed more fairly. It is sometimes possible, and potentially very useful, to separate distribution issues from issues dealing with the size and composition of the pie. Taxes and transfer payments, and other government programs, can affect how output is distributed across time, geographic areas, income classes, and various interest groups. However, the separation can never be complete for general reasons. First, redistribution programs can change the incentives facing private and collective decision makers, which can alter the input combinations used, and hence affect the outputs produced. Second, the composition of inputs has implicit distributional Impacts. Therefore, policy that is presumably focused only on the nature of the outputs will affect distribution. For example, a policy to close fishing in a spawning or nursery ground for a particular fish stock in order to increase long-term production can have direct effects on the ability of various groups with different types of equipment or fishing schedules to access the stock. This policy characteristic clearly can have repercussions on the ability to discuss policy options, because the discussants may be focusing on different issues. Religion, culture, and perceptions of right and wrong are also Important factors in ranking the composition and timing of output flows. The fact that different individuals have different views means that deciding how these issues are factored into the ranking process can be a contentious procedure. It will take action at all levels of government to find compromises that will address these differences. As difficult as determining an appropriate ranking system may be, there are other issues that further complicate ecosystem management. There are a variety of legal and cultural constraints on the ways government can control private choice (e.g., constitutional guarantees against "takings" and for equal protection and freedom of religion) and on the types of activities it can undertake on its own (e.g., its reluctance to enter production activities in direct . . . 3 For the most part, private entities will not undertake research or experimentation activities if the expected costs are more than their own potential returns. However, since others may benefit as well from the research results, knowledge will be underproduced if that research is not undertaken.
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242 The Bering Sea Ecosystem competition with private enterprise). In addition, the development of policy to achieve the most efficient use of an ecosystem is difficult because of the uncertain relationships between changes in inputs and changes in outputs. An extra layer of complexity is added by international management. International management occurs in the context of international law, which is much more loosely structured than national law and less able to produce effective change. Additionally, different countries have different views about the composition and distribution of a particular output flow. There can be different valuations of the same good or service and different views about the trade-offs between goods in the present versus these goods in the future. These differences can be cultural or represent different economic circumstances. Distributional conflicts can be especially harsh, because of a reduced willingness to admit that individuals in the other country have any legitimate claims at all. Differences over composition and distribution can also lead to strategic behavior in the interpretation of science. For example, countries that assign higher value to present day fish relative to future fish may be tempted to emphasize uncertainties about potential future decreases in productivity as a justification to increase current catch. IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT The above framework stresses several important points. What we get out of the system depends on what inputs we apply. Directly or indirectly, government rules, laws, and actions affect the nature of the inputs and hence the nature and distribution of the outputs over time. It does not make sense to talk about conservation of the ecosystem in and of itself. It is difficult to define what the Bering Sea ecosystem is and to find ways of measuring various facets of it. It is extremely difficult to define conservation of a system that is constantly changing-sometimes incrementally, sometimes abruptly, but never in ways that we will ever completely understand or be able to predict in operational terms. Conservation is wise use over time, discussed most simply, in terms of the flow of services that the system can produce. A review of the domestic, bilateral, and multinational agreements and institutions that currently govern various aspects of the Bering Sea ecosystem (see Chapter 5) illustrates that most management policies have not been developed within such a broad framework. U.S. domestic laws oversee Bering Sea fisheries (Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 1977; Fishery Conservation Amendments, 1990) and protect marine mammals (Marine Mammal Protection Act, 1972) and other endangered species (Endangered Species Act, 1973). Management regimes developed by indigenous peoples of Alaska also govern specific animals of the region (Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Eskimo Walrus Commission, Alaska Beluga Whale Committee, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Goose Management Plan). Bilateral agreements among the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, Mexico, and Australia regulate fishing methods (e.g., drift net mesh sizes), specific fisheries (e.g., halibut, salmon), and a variety of migratory birds. Multinational agreements regulate fishing methods (U.N. General Assembly resolution placing global moratorium on drift nets, 1989), protect specific species (Treaty for the Preservation and Protection of Fur Seals and Sea Otters, 1911; Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea, 1994), and provide an
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Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements 243 international framework for the conservation of marine resources (Convention for the Conservation of Anadromous Stocks in the North Pacific Ocean, 1992). Nearly all of these regulations and institutions have been designed to govern a specific subset of the entire Bering Sea ecosystem. There has been no attempt to develop a consistent ranking procedure for the various resources of the ecosystem, and as a result, choices on the relative value of different resources have been made largely by default. For example, in decisions about the size of commercial fishing levels, the focus may have been on employment and current resource utilization and allocation patterns, whereas little attention may have been directed at the effects of current fishing levels on future productivity. Or similarly, when the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed, the effects of its regulations on commercial fishing may not have been fully considered. The point here is not to argue against commercial fishing or marine mammal protection, but to emphasize that the full effects of a policy decision should be explicitly considered if appropriate decision are to be made. Based on the discussion in previous chapters and the above framework, the basic problems that need to be solved to achieve proper management of the Bering Sea ecosystem can be summarized as follows: 1. Lack of knowledge and inherent limitations on understanding and predictability. Incomplete specification of the management objectives. Lack of appropriate U. S. and international institutional structure in which to make and Implement coordinated management decisions. 4. Inability to coordinate domestic management with users and management agencies of other nations. These problems are related and, as defined, are not mutually exclusive. However, they are listed separately to focus the discussion. An important factor contributing to problem 1 has been the lack of a coherent research strategy among fishery and wildlife scientists to understand the workings of the Bering Sea ecosystem. Problem 2 refers to the lack of objective criteria for comparing different output flows for the use of the ecosystem. Problems 3 and 4 relate to the inability to ensure that all effects of management decisions are considered and that they are compared against consistent standards when choices about ecosystem use are made. Fisheries and wildlife scientists must ensure that new developments in ecosystem science, concepts and implications, are passed on to decision makers. It should be noted that the problems mentioned apply to ecosystem management in other parts of the nation and the world. It follows therefore, that recommendations presented below thus apply to national policy as well as policy specifically for the Bering Sea ecosystem. The committee concludes that the following measures are necessary to address these problems. The first is a general recommendation to evaluate the various institutional structures that oversee resource use in the Bering Sea. The other recommendations focus on improving the coordination of policy objectives, policy implementation efforts, and research activities within the Bering Sea ecosystem.
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244 The Bering Sea Ecosystem 1. Improve coordination within the complete web of institutional structures that make management decisions concerning resource use in the Bering Sea ecosystem area. Management decisions concerning use of the Bering Sea resources are currently made by myriad agencies, councils, committees, and commissions at the tribal, city, county, state, regional, federal, and international levels. These governing bodies have various mandates, authorities over particular areas and resources, and standard operating procedures. The effectiveness of these institutions and the degree of coordination and communication between them vary widely. In addition, there appear to be many cases of overlapping authority and conflicts of interest among institutions. As a result, the committee recommends that a detailed study of all management organizations in the area be conducted. At a minimum, this study should compile the following information for each organization: · the geographic area under its jurisdiction; · the resources or activities under its jurisdiction; · the basis for its authority; · the legislative mandate and/or other operational objectives; · its basic operational procedure; · its funding levels and sources; and implicit or explicit links in research, planning, or operation to other organization. These data will allow an evaluation of the overall institutional structure governing resource use in the Bering Sea ecosystem. This evaluation should focus on several key issues: (1) Do the existing management institutions address the important resources of the ecosystem? (2) Are there areas or resources that are covered by more than one governing body, and if so, are there adequate means of coordination between institutions? (3) Are there conflicts in mandates or operational objectives among institutions that have overlapping jurisdictions? And, most importantly, (4) How can the current institutional structure be improved to develop a coordinated management regime that adequately considers the scientific, cultural, and commercial values of the ecosystem? 2. Coordination of the philosophy and objectives of the major U.S. acts dealing with resource use in the Bering Sea ecosystem. Many federal laws affect the use of the Bering Sea ecosystem, and not all of them are consistent in their mandates or even their philosophies. To the degree possible, any coherent approach to management of the Bering Sea ecosystem needs careful analysis of these laws and a conscious attempt to coordinate management actions by the various agencies that are responsible for implementing them. At a minimum, the acts that should be coordinated include the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and the Clean Water Act. It may be wise to consider those acts dealing with shipping, pollution, and marine minerals as well. To help
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Implications for Management Policry and Institutional Arrangements 245 full specification of management objectives, this coordinating action should outline the preferences of the affected publics with respect to ecosystem use and, where possible, express their trade-off valuations between various uses in time and over tune. Currently, parts of various U.S. federal laws have many points of conflict at the operational level. The Magnuson Act and Marine Mammals Protection Act are good examples. As discussed in NRC (1994a), the Magnuson Act defines optimum yield for fisheries in such a broad way that "it can be used to justify almost any quantity of catch," and often results in overfishing. Yet conflicts exist between this act and provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act-which is administered by the same agency (National Marine Fisheries Service) and is designed to protect marine mammals from becoming depleted or endangered by the same industry competing with the mammals for fish. To improve management, it will be necessary to identify the specific places and issues where conflicts exist and eliminate them though the development of explicit standards, objectives, guidelines, and mechanisms of coordination and cooperation. 3. Improved processes and institutions are needed to coordinate the implementation of major federal acts relating to resource use in the ecosystem, and federal-state and international management. Developing the explicit standards, objectives, and guidelines for comprehensive management of the Bering Sea ecosystem is only the first step toward coordinated multiple use. It is also necessary to set up an institution that has the obligation and ability to consider the full effects of all actions. This institution could take several possible forms. At one extreme, it could be an "ecosystem" agency that would have direct responsibility for activities by all persons and organizations within the ecosystem. The other extreme would be some sort of coordinating committee for the various public and private agencies and organizations. The advantage of a single agency is that more of the interrelationships between uses would be made explicit. However, there are institutional limits on the amount of coordination that can be achieved within a single agency. Although some degree of coordination is essential, an option closer to independent management may be preferable. This would allow for more clearly defined agency goals, if potentially at the expense of coordination. Human cultures and institutions change much faster and, generally, at a smaller spatial scale than the ecological systems they are related to. As Norton (1992) points out, resource management generally operates at an annual cycle of production whereas environmental management (governed by constraints necessary to protect the self-organizing and self-regulatory system that provides the resource) must operate on much longer time scales. For ecosystem management to be effective, institutions must be structured to take this into account. An informative example from this point of view is that of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (R. Francis, personal communication). The authority, consisting of a three-person board reporting directly to the federal parliament, attempts to balance the many activities and resource uses in ways which provide for the reef's protection and minimize adverse
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246 The Bering Sea Ecosystem Impacts on essential ecological processes. One way to manage an area this size which will permit multiple use while preserving an ecological balance is to create zones of activity. Everv five vears the authority reviews the ~rtiviti~ within ~ ~ ,~ 7 ~ J ~ ^ ~ ~ v ~ ~ ~^ , ~ . .. . . ~ these zones to ensure that they meet park goals and standards. Comprehensive scientific research has become a critical function because the authority bases its zoning plans and permissible activities on the findings of those research studies. While it works closely with the state of Queensland in managing the park on a daily basis, the authority maintains absolute control over regulations zoning policy matters, and conflict resolution. On balance, however, we must conclude Mat the authority's supervision of the Great Barrier Reef's ecosystem appears to be effective from both scientific and management standpoints. To a large extent, the success of reef management is due to the solid support of the Australian public, which has insisted that the ecosystem be protected and preserved as a national treasure without suffering undue adverse human Impacts from multiple-use activities. Some of the authority's success also is due to its having overriding jurisdiction of the reef and the power to enforce its edicts. Furthermore, an effective balance and smooth communications exist between management and science, each of which thrives on the other's presence. Finally, some reason for success in managing the reef is due to the decision to plan and integrate human activities by zone. The Great Barrier Reef, while large and complex an area, is a continuum representing one distinct ecosystem, and the authority has integrated and managed it as such. O O Again, the the and space scales at which ecosystem management operates are critical. In the case of the barrier reef, one umbrella agency operates at the scale of what Norton calls environmental management large blocks or zones of the sea and on a five-year time scale. One possible structure for oversight of the Bering Sea ecosystem would be to develop a management council that has management and conservation authority over all living resources. Management plans would then be forced to take a more general ecosystem approach and would be judged by the expanded set of standards and guidelines mentioned above. In addition, it would be necessary to set up a coordinating committee to ensure that the plans were in conformance with acts dealing with shipping, pollution, and marine minerals management. The coordinating committee would also be responsible for ensuring that actions with respect to these uses were in conformance with living resource management plans. In addition. the council should work with state and tribal governments to facilitate joint management where appropriate. Alternatively, the federal government could institute a carrot- and-stick approach similar to that used in the Inter-Jurisdictional Fishery Act to deal with East Coast fisheries. The federal government could fund joint research and planning activities, which would allow for joint management by councils, state, and tribal governments. If joint management plans that meet the standards are not developed in a timely manner, the federal government could assume management authority. Finally, there would need to be formal provision for coordination between the management council and the State Depa~lr~ent as the latter negotiates and unplements treaties ,
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Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements 247 concerned with international management issues. Where possible, the treaties should allow for direct relationships between the council and comparable entities in other countries. The council would then have the ability to produce plans for domestic use that directly consider actions to be taken by other countries. rat ~ ~ . ~ ~ ~'c; s~ us u~c Move structure should be to focus authority and responsibility in a single entity (the council and the cabinet department that oversees it and approves its actions), while at the same time allowing for necessary coordination with other entities that will continue to have a role in management given the realities of a federalist government with international obligations. This will require the checks and balances of a plan and approval process that considers whether the standards are met and whether the plans are in conformance with other existing laws. It is important, however, to ensure that the process does not become a bureaucratic nightmare that ultimately obstructs good management. Provisions must be made that allow for emer~nov ~ _ ~ _ ~ _ 1~ 1__ ac~luns 10 De laKen in a ninety manner, actions that can remain in effect for 180 days to a year while permanent management actions are considered. Because there will always be uncertainties about the current state of the ecosystem and the effects of various combined inputs, a coordinated management agency will not be able to wait for perfect information. It must face the fact that decisions will have to be made on the basis of the best information available. The agency should formally introduce into the policy institutional structure concepts from the literature on decision making under risk and uncertainty and on game theory. Such concepts as confidence intervals and expected values can help decision makers explicitly face what cannot be known for certain. Efforts like the Fisheries- Oceanography Coordinated Investigations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Alaska Fisheries Science Center would be quite effective if they focused on the Impacts of fishing on the ecosystem. Similarly, because of the uncertainties about the effects of current inputs on the ability of the ecosystem to produce future outputs, if the management goal is to reduce the risk of ecological surprises and to avoid significant population declines in top-level predators, the coordinated agency should adopt a risk-averse position when making policy decisions. Because the negative effects could be substantial and long lasting, the council should assess outcomes conservatively. It should err on the high side when estimating likely costs in terms of forgone future production, and it should take reversible actions to the degree possible, so that mistakes can be undone when the opportunity costs prove higher than originally estimated. For example, it seems that the heavy exploitation of several long-lived (K-selected) species in the Bering Sea in the 1950s through the 1970s helped to create the current conditions there, conditions that are undesirable and perhaps not reversible through short-term management actions. The management agency should also structure its management actions such that it can learn more about the ecosystem (see recommendation 4 below). One of the reasons private decisions regarding inputs will not always generate the appropriate flow of outputs is that, given the current property rights structure, private decision makers are not forced to bear all of the costs of their actions nor are they able to gain all of the benefits. Different kinds of production in the ecosystem are interrelated, but current property rights do not consider this. One way to address this is to adjust the property rights structure. Creating new property rights is one possibility. Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) in fisheries management are an example. Co-management with tribal governments or fisheries cooperatives
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248 The Bering Sea Ecosystem may also be worth considering when these entities have appropriate internal governance abilities. The coordinating agencies should also consider further implementations of ITQs, co- management, or other changes in the property rights structure that would change the incentives of private decision makers so they will more fully consider the effects of their actions. 4. A research program to increase understanding of the Bering Sea ecosystem should be designed (keeping international issues and cooperation in mind), to fulfill the research needs outlined in the following chapter to help future policy makers solve both short-term management issues and longer-term ecological issues. Although it will never be possible to know everything about the workings of the Bering Sea ecosystem, much more can still be learned. The more we know, the better we will be able to make decisions to ensure proper resource use. To obtain new information, a research program is needed to examine the problems of the Bering Sea ecosystem. The effort should address both the short-term management issues of today and the major ecological issues that will later affect policy decisions. Because the main policy issue is the choice of appropriate outputs, research should focus on this broad picture. To give a simple example, while it may be important to understand how a change in prey will affect foraging behavior and the relative population size of a particular stock, the research is not complete until this is interpreted in terms of inputs and outputs over time. Further, while parts of the research program may need to focus on specific aspects of the ecosystem, it is vitally important that the research program as a whole emphasize the patterns and interconnections of the system in a way that supports coordinated management. The research program should be an integral part of the institutional structure of management. There must be appropriate channels of communication such that the types of problems facing management organizations and the kind of information they need to make better decisions are directly considered when choosing the kinds and amount of research to be done. It is also important for the current state of knowledge, however imperfect, to be tied to the rule-making of the institutional structure. Basically, this means that there must be mandated channels and proscribed formats for research results to be received in a timely manner and presented in ways that can be directly useful; it is most important for the research to include indigenous as well as Western knowledge and participants. At a more fundamental level, however, there must be procedures to ensure that all relevant information is considered when making decisions. As a simple example, consider a decision to set a total allowable catch in a fishery. In such cases, stakeholders often have differing views and interests concerning how much should be taken in the short term and how much should be left to ensure future value. Depending on the balance of interests in the institutional structure, quotas might be set at a higher level than can be justified by scientific information, although the different views often are expressed in terms of what the information does justify (see NRC, 1994a for a discussion of related topics). To reduce such possibilities, reviews that mandate consistency with the best available scientific information (with redress if such consistency is not maintained) should be built into the overall institutional structure. In cases where such reviews already are incorporated, steps could be taken to broaden the scientific
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Implications for Management Policy and Institutional Arrangements 249 basis of the reviews to ensure that they include ecosystem and socioeconomic perspectives. Similar considerations led a recent National Research Council committee on anadromous salmonids to recommend the establishment of an independent science advisory board to help bring an unbiased scientific component to decision making in the Pacific Northwest (NRC, 1996~. Although much of the research necessary to improve management may be conducted in the traditional manner in government and academic research labs and vessels, it will be wise to consider other venues as well. Joint research projects with the commercial fishing industry, tribal governments, environmental groups, and other nations that have interests in the region, perhaps through organizations such as the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICKS), are needed, in terms of both research design and implementation or funding. Cooperative decision making is much easier if both parties agree on the science. At the minimum, planning meetings are necessary to ensure that common calibration and research methodologies are used. The instability in former Soviet Union countries poses a serious threat to the amount and types of research that will be done in the Bering Sea. The United States should be very cooperative in assisting research that, under normal situations, might be considered the obligation of another country. Understanding events in Russian waters will be important to the overall management of the Bering Sea. If the appropriate amounts and types of research are not likely to be forthcoming, it may be in the interest of the United States to do more of this research and to help these countries with funding. In addition, a study should be initiated to evaluate and possibly retrieve data on the Bering Sea ecosystem that are scattered in publications, files, and archives of former Soviet Union agencies (Soviet Ministry of Fisheries, Naval Hydrographic Service, Ministry of Geology, State Committee on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Control, and the Soviet Academy of Sciences). Such a study should focus on evaluating both the significance and the accuracy of the data in order to determine whether a data rescue effort should be actively pursued. A final research issue is the ability to learn from management decisions. Following Walters and Hilborn (1986), it is wise to implement policies that allow for learning. If it is unclear how different intensities of exploitation affect stock size, exploitation rates can deliberately be manipulated to learn what will happen. The implications of such approaches on other outputs (i.e., other populations and species of organisms and various ecosystem characteristics, including effects on humans) must be considered, however. More knowledge may be beneficial, but the potential gains in knowledge must be balanced against the effects of abrupt changes in the output of fish or other components of the system. While this is a controversial issue, the rules for determining what management actions are appropriate should not be so strict as to preclude learning by doing.
Representative terms from entire chapter: