Sustainably Managing a Hawaiian Nearshore Marine Resource

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Sep 25, 2019
Chelsie W. W. Counsell

Managing natural resources in a fashion that does not negatively impact the resource for future generations, that is supporting sustainable resource use, is an increasingly common goal for resource managers. In the state of Hawai‘i, a management goal has been set to sustainably manage 30% of nearshore marine resources by 2030. In this case study, students will (1) be introduced to needs of various stakeholders, (2) integrate multiple data streams to characterize a nearshore reef fishery, (3) describe feedbacks between the relevant social and environmental systems, (4) will propose a management plan, and (5) will peer-review the feasibility of policy proposals. While students will be encouraged to consider the full nearshore marine ecosystem, this case study is focused on Acanthurus triostegus, a small surgeonfish commonly referred to as the convict tang by visitors to the islands or as manini by people more familiar with local culture. This case study was designed for an upper level undergraduate course with an emphasis in ecology and/or environmental policy. 

Estimated time frame: 
A few class periods (i.e., less than 3 hours)
SES learning goals: 
  • Systems Thinking
  • Boundary-Crossing
  • Integrative Research

Key Words: reef fish; Hawai'i, integrating data streams 

Has this been tested in the class room: 
Does this case have an answer key: 
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