D. J. Die, R. A. Watson, (1992). Aquatic Living Resources 5, 145-153.
Spatial closures are commonly used by Australian fisheries managers to alter fishing patterns. To evaluate different fishing closures, however, fishery scientists have to understand and model the spatiotemporal interactions between fish stocks and fishing fleets. We develop a deterministic, stationary, per-recuit, age-structured simulation model to assess different spatial closure strategies, and use date from the Torres Strait tiger prawn fishery, Penaeus esculentus, as a working example. Our results show that selection of an optimum spatial closure largely depends on the relative importance given to changes of the different utility functions evaluated (yield, value, egg production). We show that, on average, with a spatial closure yield-per-recruit would decrease, but also show that value-per-recruit may increase 10% with the appropriate closure. Our results suggest that egg-per-recruit would always increase in the presence of a closure. By incorporating parameter uncertainty within the simulation model we predict the uncertainty associated with alternative closure strategies, and thus provide valuable information for the decision-making process.