Size matters: How single-species management can contribute to ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Froese, Rainer , Stern-Pirlot, A., Winker, H. and Gascuel, D. (2008) Size matters: How single-species management can contribute to ecosystem-based fisheries management. Fisheries Research, 92 (2-3). pp. 231-241. DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2008.01.005.

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In this study we show how substantial gains towards the goals of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) can be achieved by different single-species management. We show that fishing has much less impact on stocks if fish are caught after they have reached the size (Lopt) where growth rate and cohort biomass are maximum. To demonstrate our point we compare the impact of three fishing scenarios on 9 stocks from the North Sea and the Baltic. Scenario (1) is the current fishing regime, scenario (2) is a new management regime proposed by the European Commission, aiming for maximum sustainable yield obtained from all stocks, and scenario (3) is set so that it achieves the same yield as scenario (2), albeit with fishing on sizes beyond Lopt. Results show that scenarios (2) and (3) are significant improvements compared to current fishing practice. However, scenario (3) consistently shows least impact on the stocks, with seven-fold higher biomass of demersal fishes and an age structure similar to an unfished stock. This allows juveniles and adults to better fulfil their ecological roles, a major step towards the goals of ecosystem-based fisheries management. We give examples where scenario (3) is practiced in successful fisheries. We present a new interpretation of the relative yield per recruit isopleth diagram with indication of a new target area for fisheries operating within the context of EBFM. We present a new expression of the relative biomass per recruit isopleth diagram, which supports our analysis. We conclude that size matters for precautionary and ecosystem-based fisheries management and present a list of additional advantages associated with fishing at Lopt.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Biomass per recruit; Ecosystem-based fisheries management; Maximum sustainable yield; Size-based management; Single-species management; Yield per recruit; North Sea fisheries; Baltic Sea fisheries
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.fishres.2008.01.005
ISSN: 0165-7836
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2009 10:30
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 13:51

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