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In a special issue of Fisheries Management and Ecology, researchers from across the CASC Network describe how the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) framework offers a roadmap for fisheries management decisions in the face of global change.

Climate change is altering the physical conditions and habitats that many fish species need to survive and thrive, threatening economically important recreational and commercial fisheries. Traditional management strategies focus on resist-ing these affects by supporting the restoration of species and habitats. However, in some fisheries, managers are facing changes they may be unable to mitigate against, such as rising water temperatures and altered stream flows. In these cases, resist-ing change through restoration can be labor-intensive and costly to management agencies, and some fisheries may now be beyond the point of no-return. Managers can alternatively decide whether they should accept the change or direct it. This could include stocking fish species that are tolerant to known climate impacts.  

In a new special issue of Fisheries Management and Ecology, CASC researchers and co-authors demonstrate the applicability of the RAD framework for fisheries management decision-making. The issue is the first collection of case studies and thematic articles using the RAD framework that demonstrate the different management options used in response to real-world scenarios where climate change has impacted fisheries. The issue’s introduction, co-authored by National CASC Fish Biologist Abigail Lynch, summarizes the findings of the included articles, providing insights into how the RAD framework has been implemented so far, and identifying possible new strategies for future use. The special issue highlights that although resist is often the preferred first management option, some fisheries simply cannot return to their previous conditions. In making these complex management decisions, the appropriate strategy could change over time, and that multiple strategies could be implemented at once. In many instances, the use of the RAD framework sparked conversations on accept or direct strategies that would not normally be considered.  

The RAD framework can help managers decide on the most effective and socially acceptable course of action for a fishery impacted by climate change. The examples in the special issue may serve as guidance to managers on how to employ the framework in other managed systems. As conversations about managing changing systems continue, this special issue can provide a foundation for managers and researchers to continue exploring new options. 

Work on the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) Framework is supported by the National and Regional CASCs and our partners. 


Video Transcript
A video narrated by National CASC Fish Biologist Abby Lynch explaining the Resist-Accept-Direct Framework, a decision-making tool that helps resource managers make informed strategies for responding to ecological changes resulting from climate change. The video is a narrated slide show with animations and photos guiding the viewer through the framework. This video also announces the new RAD Framework Special Issue in the July 2022 issue of Fisheries Management and Ecology. The issue includes several National & Regional CASC and USGS authors. Listen to the audio-described version.

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