Fisher Behavior and Fish Population Dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico

ASU professor Steve Saul applies innovative modeling techniques to better manage fishing practices and resource management

Part of the Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series at ASU's Polytechnic campus

Steve Saul, assistant professor of applied biological sciences in ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, presents this seminar, "Fisher Behavior and Fish Population Dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico: How does fisher behavior affect stock assessment?" The seminar is the first in the spring portion of the college's year-long Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series.

Fisher decision-making can influence the effectiveness of management measures and determines the spatial and temporal locations of fishery-dependent observations. In many stock assessments, observations from fishers are used to infer the abundance of fish populations. To understand some of the ways that fisher behavior can influence our perception of abundance, Saul developed a spatially explicit, bio-economic, agent-based model of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.  He will discuss flaws in current statistical methods and how they may lead to biased stock assessment trends and inappropriate management responses. An expanded version of his model is under development, to understand the response of fishing fleets and fish populations to event-related closures and oil pollution, and to explore different management strategies.

Saul applies agent-based modeling, remote sensing, and statistical analyses to understand the links between the structure and spatial distributions of habitat, fish populations, and fishing activities in support of natural resource management.

Saul has conducted many stock assessments for the National Marine Fisheries Service. He has evaluated the effect of the oil spill on the fisheries and fishing communities in the Gulf of Mexico, developed high resolution habitat maps for small island developing countries in the South Pacific, worked with fishing communities and the local government in Tonga, and taught best fishing practices to recreational anglers in South Florida, 

Saul earned his doctorate and master’s from the University of Miami, in marine biology and fisheries.

Science and Mathematics, ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Ryan Penton
Cooley Ballroom A, Student Union, Polytechnic campus
Polytechnic campus