**The title, authors, and abstract for this completion report are provided below.  For a copy of the completion report, please contact the GLFC via e-mail or via telephone at 734-662-3209**


Improving Use of Human Dimensions Information in Great Lakes Fishery Management

Shawn J. Riley1



1   Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

13 Natural Resources Building

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI, USA 48824


October 2007



Traditional precepts of natural resource management in North America are being replaced with emerging precepts of multi-disciplinary science and greater public participation in decisions about public resources. This case study research examined 4 cases of fishery management in the US and Canada to: 1) evaluate characteristics of human dimensions information and processes used by fishery management agencies that systematically and effectively use these types of information in decision-making; 2) evaluate impediments in fishery management to integration of biological and human dimensions information for decision-making; and, 3) Create a plan to prioritize, organize, and guide human dimensions research about Great Lakes fishery management. The 4 cases differed in degree of structure involved in decision processes, the level of integration of human and biological dimensions of fishery management, and success defined in terms of sustainability of decisions. The depth and breadth of human dimensions insights needed, just like the depth and breadth of biological insights, must be tailored to the specific situation. Yet, of the 4 cases examined in this study the 2 considered most successful in terms of yielding more sustainable decisions had the most structured decision processes, and also included stakeholders to a greater extent than the other cases. Costs, financially and those related to human resources, increased with the level of public participation. In the case of the Mid-Atlantic summer flounder fishery, however, the costs of not having a structured, participatory process were lawsuits challenging each major decision. Steps suggested for better integration of human dimensions insights in Great Lakes fishery management are adoption of a stakeholder approach to management as opposed to a constituent or client approach, and adoption of impacts as an objective function to compliment more conventional objectives that are oriented toward fish stocks and habitat.