Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Junping Shi

Committee Members

Robert Michael Lewis

Leah B. Shaw

Romuald Lipcius


During the last century, the oyster population of the Chesapeake Bay area has diminished greatly due to overfishing, pollution and climate change. Our Optimal Control model finds a sustainable solution that balances oyster harvesting with the health of the population. We wish to find the value of our Effort (control) function that harvests the most oysters possible without fishing the population to extinction. We create a Hamiltonian function and apply Bang-Bang Control in order to find a singular E* between 0 and Emax such that E* will balance out with the natural growth rate of the population to form a constant, stable population. Our model uses analytical and numerical solutions to determine the optimal sustainable population N* and E* for a Bang-Bang Control model. The analytical model also solves for times T1 and T2 at which the piecewise Heaviside eff ort function switches values of E(t). In marine population study, there has not been extensive use of mathematics, especially optimal control theory. Consequently, as seen in our Future Work section, there is much room for expansion upon current scholarship regarding optimal control theory. Only by incorporating several environmental factors can one succeed in using mathematics to develop a successful harvesting strategy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only