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Blanchard, F., Chaboud, C., & Thebaud, O. (2019). Back to the future: A retrospective assessment of model-based scenarios for the management of the shrimp fishery in French Guiana facing global change. Nat. Resour. Model., , e12232.
Résumé: While the number of models dedicated to predicting the consequences of alternative resource management strategies has increased, instances in which authors look back at past predictions to learn from discrepancies between these and observed developments are scarce. In the past decades, the French Guiana shrimp fishery has experienced shrimp market globalization and decreasing levels of shrimp recruitment due to environmental changes. In 2006, a bio-economic model of this fishery was developed to simulate its possible responses to economic and environmental scenarios up to 2016. Here, we compare here these predictions to the observed trajectories. While the number of active vessels corresponds to that which was predicted, the estimated shrimp stock does not. Important driving factors had not been anticipated, including a general strike, natural disasters, and the end of the global financial crisis. These results show the importance of participative approaches involving stakeholders in the co-construction and shared representation of scenarios. Recommendations for resource managers Effective fisheries resources management and a fortiori, the capacity of the fisheries to adapt to global change, requires understanding of both ecological and economics dynamics. The temporal trajectory of the trawling shrimp fisheries has been well monitored, and the decline of both stock and fleet is understood regarding ecological and economic changes: Changes in the environmental conditions of shrimp recruitment, and oil price increase and selling price decrease. However, our bio-economic modeling work showed that, even with a good understanding of the dynamics explaining past trajectories, unpredictable events (strike, natural disasters horizontal ellipsis ) have acted as other key driving factors altering the capacity of the model to represent possible futures. These results led us to recommend a better integration of the expertise of social and political scientists in developing models of bio-economic systems to increase the quality of scenario predictions, and to argue for more participative approaches involving the stakeholders.