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Ecosystem-based Fishery Management (EBFM)

Authors in bold are staff of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science

Babcock E A, E K Pikitch, M K McAllister, P Apostolaki, C Santora. 2005. A perspective on the use of spatialized indicators for ecosystem-based fishery management through spatial zoning. ICES Journal of Marine Science for the proceedings of the meeting ICES Journal of Marine Science. 62: 469-476.

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Abstract: While much work has been done developing system level indicators for ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), such as size spectra and mean trophic levels, few of these proposed indicators include a spatial component. Even in single species management, time and area closures have been applied without a clear understanding of what the effect of these closures might be on the identification of overfishing thresholds and other reference points. For EBFM, the spatial zoning of the marine environment, including no-take marine reserves and areas where destructive fishing gears are prohibited, is likely to be one of the primary management tools. Thus, EBFM will require indicators of the effectiveness of spatial management, as well as an understanding of how indicators related to other management objectives, such as fisheries yield, will be influenced by spatial management. We review the single-species models that have been used to model spatial zoning, including current work on fishing effort reallocation after an area closure, and discuss how spatial management might bias assessment. We review the available ecosystem-based models and metrics, and how they might account for spatial management. We also discuss metrics that could be derived from explicitly spatial approaches such as GIS-based ecosystem and fishery evaluations.

Pikitch E K, C Santora, E A Babcock. 2005. New frameworks for reconciling conservation with fisheries: incorporating uncertainty and ecosystem processes into fisheries management. Submitted for the proceedings of the World Fisheries Congress. In Press.

Abstract: Fisheries management has been greatly improved by the development of decision tools that account for uncertainties including multiple hypotheses about the state of nature, and random natural processes. Decision analytic methods, including Bayesian decision analysis, as well as adaptive management and the simulation testing of management strategies, now allow fisheries scientists to provide managers with advice about the potential consequences of management actions. The decision rules that have developed under the precautionary approach are designed to be robust to uncertainty and are imbedded within a management framework that is explicitly designed to achieve management objectives such as sustaining fisheries yield. These decision support techniques, and the management framework that uses these tools, can be very effective, and should be applied more widely. On the other hand, these methods have generally been applied in the context of single-species management; it is necessary to develop management frameworks and decision tools that can be used to develop management strategies that are robust to uncertainties at the level of ecosystems as well. The framework of fishery management must be broadened to include environmental effects, food-web interactions and the impacts of fishing on ecosystems. The scientific and legal basis for ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM) has now evolved to the point where EBFM can be a viable management framework.

Babcock E A, E K Pikitch. 2004. Can we reach agreement on a standardized approach to ecosystem-based fishery management?. Bulletin of Marine Science. 74: 685-692.

Pikitch E K, C Santora, E A Babcock, A Bakun, R Bonfil, D O Conover, P Dayton, P Doukakis, D Fluharty, B Heneman, E D Houde, J Link, P A Livingston, M Mangel, M K McAllister, J Pope, K J Sainsbury. 2004. Ecosystem-based fishery management. Science. 305:346-347.
Click here to link to article in Science

Pikitch E K, C Santora, E A Babcock, A Bakun, R Bonfil, D O Conover, P Dayton, P Doukakis, D Fluharty, B Heneman, E D Houde, P A Livingston, M Mangel, M K McAllister, J Pope, K J sainsbury. 2004. Letter to the editor: Response to fishery management and culling. Science. 396: 1892.

Santora C. 2004. Scientists outline a model for Ecosystem-based Fishery Management.. Waves, (Marine & Coastal Community Network Newsletter). 10(3): 13.

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