Minimizing the Impact of Fishing.

Froese, Rainer, Winker, Henning, Gascuel, Didier, Sumaila, U. Rashid and Pauly, Daniel (2016) Minimizing the Impact of Fishing. Fish and Fisheries, 17 (3). pp. 785-802. DOI 10.1111/faf.12146.

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Abstract

Minimizing the impact of fishing is an explicit goal in international agreements as well as in regional directives and national laws. To assist in practical implementation, three simple rules for fisheries management are proposed in this study: 1) take less than nature by ensuring that mortality caused by fishing is less than the natural rate of mortality; 2) maintain population sizes above half of natural abundance, at levels where populations are still likely to be able to fulfil their ecosystem functions as prey or predator; and 3) let fish grow and reproduce, by adjusting the size at first capture such that the mean length in the catch equals the length where the biomass of an unexploited cohort would be maximum (Lopt). For rule 3), the basic equations describing growth in age-structured populations are re-examined and a new optimum length for first capture (Lc_opt) is established. For a given rate of fishing mortality, Lc_opt keeps catch and profit near their theoretical optima while maintaining large population sizes. Application of the three rules would not only minimize the impact of fishing on commercial species, it may also achieve several goals of ecosystem-based fisheries management, such as rebuilding the biomass of prey and predator species in the system and reducing collateral impact of fishing, because with more fish in the water, shorter duration of gear deployment is needed for a given catch. The study also addresses typical criticisms of these common sense rules for fisheries management.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: ecosystem-based fisheries management; optimum size at first capture; yield-per-recruit; population dynamics theory; balanced harvesting
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R03
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R02
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1111/faf.12146
ISSN: 1467-2960
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2015 14:24
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:49
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/30244

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