The advent of
powerful and affordable desktop computers allowed fisheries scientists to
use computing intensive models to describe the life cycle of the majority of
commercial fished species. This also provided a theoretical foundation to
derive parameters of other species (see
FishBase for extensive compilation of parameters). These models
describe, among other things, instantaneous mortality rates, reproduction,
recruitment patterns, and prey-predator relationships (e.g.
FiSAT) to help define management parameters. Attempts had been made to
develop top-down models of interacting elements in an ecosystem (e.g.
Ecopath with EcoSim).
models will augment the existing tools by its ability to
simulate the effects of disturbances in the ecosystem (e.g.
introduction of pollutants, demise of coral colonies, changes of food
preferences, etc.) and in the process, help define key parameters that are
essential in determining the optimal catch rate that will sustain a given
stock. Developing bottom-up models using agent-based approaches will answer
critical questions that have eluded fisheries scientists for decades.
models of reef fishes will initially contain the following classes defining
the agent: (i) growth, (ii) reproduction, (iii) mortality, (iv) food
preferences, and (v) defenses. More classes will be developed later to
better describe the agents. The figure presented in this page is an abridged
representation of a simulation of a fish species population in a
hypothetical space for one time period. Our vision is to present the
3D-rendered agents on a 3D geographic representation of the study area.