Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-26
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-26
Submitted as: model description paper
 | 
02 May 2024
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 02 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

BOATSv2: New ecological and economic features improve simulations of High Seas catch and effort

Jerome Guiet, Daniele Bianchi, Kim J. N. Scherrer, Ryan F. Heneghan, and Eric D. Galbraith

Abstract. Climate change and industrial fishing have profound effects on marine ecosystems. Numerical models that capture key features of fish biomass dynamics and its interaction with fishing can help assess the biogeochemical and socio-economic consequences of these impacts. However, these models have significant biases and do not include many processes known to be relevant. Here we describe an updated version of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model for global fish and fisheries studies. The model incorporates new ecological and economic features designed to ameliorate prior biases. Recent improvements include reduction of fish growth rates in iron-limited high-nutrient low-chlorophyll regions, and the ability to simulate fisheries management. Novel features described here include a separation of pelagic and demersal fish communities to provide an expanded representation of ecological diversity, and spatially variable fishing costs and catchability for more realistic fishing effort dynamics. We also introduce a new set of observational diagnostics designed to evaluate the model beyond the boundary of large marine ecosystems. Following a multi-step parameter selection, the updated BOATSv2 model shows comparable performance to the original model in coastal ecosystems, accurately simulating catch, biomass and fishing effort. The revised model provides a markedly improved representation of fisheries in the High Seas, largely correcting the biases of the original version, including excessive high-sea catches and too rapid deepening of fishing effort over time. The updated model code is available for simulating both historical and future scenarios.

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Jerome Guiet, Daniele Bianchi, Kim J. N. Scherrer, Ryan F. Heneghan, and Eric D. Galbraith

Status: open (until 27 Jun 2024)

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Jerome Guiet, Daniele Bianchi, Kim J. N. Scherrer, Ryan F. Heneghan, and Eric D. Galbraith

Model code and software

BOATSv2 and dataset for "BOATSv2: New ecological and economic features improve simulations of High Seas catch and effort" J. Guiet, D. Bianchi, K. Scherrer, R. Heneghan, E. Galbraith, and D. Carozza https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11043334

Jerome Guiet, Daniele Bianchi, Kim J. N. Scherrer, Ryan F. Heneghan, and Eric D. Galbraith

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Short summary
Numerical models that capture key features of the global dynamics of fish communities play a crucial role in addressing the impacts of climate change and industrial fishing on ecosystems and societies. Here, we detail an update of the BiOeconomic marine Trophic Size-spectrum model that corrects the model representation of the dynamic of fisheries in the High Seas. This update also allows a better representation of biodiversity to improve future global and regional fisheries studies.