The SSC heard a presentation from Dr. Chang Seung (NMFS AFSC) on the Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix (MRSAM), a tool for estimating economic impacts of fishery management actions, and requested further review as development continues. There are currently two versions of the MRSAM: a three-region model that analyzes impacts for Alaska, the West Coast and the rest of the US, and a 10-region model that estimates impacts for six Southwest Alaska communities, the rest of Alaska, the West Coast, the rest of the US, and a “region” representing at-sea catcher-processors and motherships operating in Southwest Alaska waters. Currently, a web application allowing users to apply the model to a given change in fisheries value and compute the resulting impacts only exists for the three-region model, however Dr. Seung discouraged use of this web tool because the three-region model uses input data from 2004 and is no longer current. The 10-region model was recently completed and a technical memo was available for review, however a web application for this model is still in development.
The SSC supported the MRSAM effort and its potential for quantitative estimation of impacts of Council management actions in a manner not possible at present. The SSC would like to thoroughly review the 10-region MRSAM before approving its use for analysis in future Council actions. Specifically, the SSC requested additional information on model assumptions, how the model will be maintained and updated to reflect the best available information and how current data streams may be applicable to this process, what types of Council actions would be most appropriate to implement MRSAM use, and implications of the divergence of the regional units commonly reported in Council analyses and the regional units output by the MRSAM. The SSC requested the authors undertake additional model validation exercises including a comparison of model predictions and actual outcomes from a previous event such as the 2009 Pacific cod price collapse as well as comparing MRSAM results with a similar, ongoing effort by ISER to empirically determine local Alaska multipliers.
Staff contact is Anna Henry