An Application of Agent-Based Simulation to a Natural Resource Dilemma: Understanding Payoff, Decision Making, and Learning of Stakeholders through a Simulated Environment
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Aquaculture organizations establish facilities at the coast in Frøya. The facilities block the surrounding area from fishing and cause environmental damage to close natural resources. Fishers who depend on those natural resources get the opportunity to influence the aquaculture expansion through complaints about the municipality s coastal plan. Statistics show that fishers don t complain in this situation, and the aim of this project was to investigate why, as well as studying how baseless complaints can be avoided. Simulation based on rudimentary evolutionary game theoretic analysis were applied in order to model the fishers as intelligent agents with complex interactions. Fishers learn to not complain because they experience that complaining produces no results, and because there is a nonmonetary information leak cost associated with complaining. Changing government s payoff for approving complaints to favor fishers while penalizing environmental damage may promote more fisher complaints as well as avoiding baseless ones. Avoiding cluttering of fishing spots is important to keeping complaints on a healthy level. With further development the simulation system could be part of a decision support system that promotes policies that are fair for the stakeholders.