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Developing a Spatially Explicit Agent-Based Model of Queen Conch Distribution in a Marine Protected Area in the Turks and Caicos Islands

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Rudd, Murray A.; Railsback, Steve; Danylchuk, Andy; Clerveaux, Wesley
Conference: 54th Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute
Location: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Conf. Date: November 12-17, 2001
Date: 2001
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1913
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): coastal resources
remote sensing
agent-based computational economics
Abstract: "Queen conch, Strombus gigas, is an important commercial resource in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The TCI government is funding the development of an agent-based model (ABM) to help better understand queen conch distribution and manage the artisanal fishery. ABMs are built from the ?bottom up? and simulate each individual agent ? conch, fishers and the fishery manager ? within the pertinent system. Agents follow relatively simple rules of behavior at the individual level but can engage in behavior that leads to complicated aggregate patterns of interaction. ABMs permit modelers to perform a variety of resource management experiments in a computer-generated artificial fisheries management laboratory, potentially increasing our ability to implement the principle of adaptive management while reducing the risk and/or time lags of real-world experiments. The purpose of this paper is to outline the development of the spatial components of a pilot model in which simple foragers (conch) live, grow and disperse. The model of the South Caicos East Harbor Lobster and Conch Reserve (EHLCR) uses habitat data derived from Landsat 7 satellite imagery as an environmental base and is implemented using the Swarm modeling platform. In the model, conch survival is dependent on (1) food intake and (2) mortality risk within each habitat type. The challenges of expanding the model from this pilot phase to incorporate more sophisticated fisher and fishery management agents in an expanded commercial fishery model are outlined."

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