Ecological and fisheries approaches to population modeling share many common tools and issues, yet they have developed quite independently over the past decades. The Sustainable Fisheries Act has pushed fisheries modeling into forecasting for management decision-making, which is an area where ecological modeling appears to be headed. We summarize how marine fisheries are managed in the United States, and how data and models are used to make the required forecasts. The recent management deliberations of red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico provide a case study of the sensitive relationship among data, models, and management decisions. We use the U.S. marine fisheries experience and the case study to discuss six lessons that ecologists should consider as they proceed toward forecasting for management. The need for forecasting is accelerating both in ecology and fisheries, while the margin for mistakes is getting smaller.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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