Highly migratory species predictive spatial modeling (PRiSM): an analytical framework for assessing the performance of spatial fisheries management
Spatial management for highly migratory species (HMS) is difficult due to many species’ mobile habits and the dynamic nature of oceanic habitats. Current static spatial management areas for fisheries in the United States have been in place for extended periods of time with limited data collection inside the areas, making any analysis of their efficacy challenging. Spatial modeling approaches can be specifically designed to integrate species data from outside of closed areas to project species distributions inside and outside closed areas relative to the fishery. We developed HMS-PRedictive Spatial Modeling (PRiSM), which uses fishery-dependent observer data of species’ presence–absence, oceanographic covariates, and gear covariates in a generalized additive model (GAM) framework to produce fishery interaction spatial models. Species fishery interaction distributions were generated monthly within the domain of two HMS longline fisheries and used to produce a series of performance metrics for HMS closed areas. PRiSM was tested on bycatch species, including shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), billfish (Istiophoridae), and leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) in a pelagic longline fishery, and sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), dusky shark (C. obscurus), and scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) in a bottom longline fishery. Model validation procedures suggest PRiSM performed well for these species. The closed area performance metrics provided an objective and flexible framework to compare distributions between closed and open areas under recent environmental conditions. Fisheries managers can use the metrics generated by PRiSM to supplement other streams of information and guide spatial management decisions to support sustainable fisheries.