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Multiple objective methodology for the management of EU fisheries

The overall aim of the study was to develop and analyse the actual objective structure present within EU fisheries management from the perspectives of the different interest groups, including associated priorities perceived.

This result describes the methodology of principally mathematically-based techniques allowing explicit inclusion of multiple objectives for analysis. The majority of these techniques are from the field of operational research and its sub-field of multiple criteria decision making. The structure of this result comprises three distinct sections.
- The first develops a structured framework for the identification of objectives of management and a formal development of objective hierarchies, as well as similarly the identification of individuals and interest groups who have role in management.

- The second considers preference elicitation methodology for the development of individual and group preferences and utility towards the defined objectives.

- The third concentrates on multi-objective modelling methods that can explicitly include multiple objectives for analysis of management planning scenarios also incorporating preferences that have been expressed by individuals and/or groups.
Overall, the methodology for a structured framework of multiple objective analysis is developed.

The MOFISH project is a European fisheries-based project and as such the methodology described and discussed in this result specifically relates to application in fisheries management in EU countries. Hence, wherever possible references to previously related studies in this area are commented on.

As a result of this methodological comparison, two principal methods were proposed for general use by the project team:
- The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for preference elicitation towards the key objectives identified in management by key fisheries interest groups and;

- Goal programming (GP) for the development of models of several European-based case studies capable of including the elicited preferences for analyses.

Several factors were behind the choices of principal methodology, all relating to complexity of fisheries systems. The Methodology Report is the main deliverable from this result, and has proved a useful tool for the project team in comparing qualities and facets of the available techniques capable of handling multiple objectives explicitly. It is hoped that this publicly available report will prove useful in future to others implementing multi-objective methodology. It may also be a relevant result to other fields of research, especially in the natural resources such as agriculture, forestry and water resource management. Two papers directly related to this result have been submitted to journals for consideration to date. Several papers have been presented at conference from this result.

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University of Portsmouth
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