The OCFA membership has actively supported independent R&D since the early 1990s. Since 2003, the Ontario Lake Erie fishing industry has provided on-going funding to a team of researchers at the University of Guelph in Guelph, ON and at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Funding agreements with these researchers are specified to be "arms length” grants in aid of their research. Consequently, the fishing industry has relinquished any control over the research and the publication of results arising from the research.
The tools of decision analysis (DA) and adaptive management (AM) are not new. DA and AM grew out of post WW-II operations research and both are now in wide use across many sectors from banking to fisheries. DA is a tool for making the "best” decisions in the face of uncertainty. AM is about reducing, rather than merely coping, with uncertainty by managing the system (a fishery in this case) to gain knowledge (learn) and in doing so reduce key uncertainties that challenge management. Since 2003, the OCFA has endorsed the use of DA and AM to manage Ontario’s fisheries resources. The principles and linkages between DA and AM are shown here: (links to Nudds-Jones and Crawford et.al 2005). Transparent and accountable decision making are the core objectives of DAAM. Decision processes such as DAAM and structured decision making (SDM) must engage and respect the views of all stakeholders.