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Society for Conservation Biology, 21st annual meeting

One World, One Conservation, One Partnership
July 01, 2007 - July 05, 2007
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Presentation at this event.

Conference website

The theme for the meeting emphasises the need to move away from national, regional and disciplinary territoriality in support of a joint effort to conserve the world's biodiversity by uniting towards a common goal.

Caviar Dreaming? Evaluating the Success of Sturgeon Conservation Efforts and the Bold Steps Needed to Avert Extinction

Doukakis, Phaedra , E. K. Pikitch , D. Erickson
Pew Institute for Ocean Science, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 126 East 56th Street, Mezzanine, New York, New York 10022 USA; 212 756 0042; 212 756 0045 (pdoukakis@miami.edu)

Unrelenting fishing pressure for black caviar and habitat degradation have made sturgeons (Order Acipenseriformes) one of the most endangered groups of fishes alive today. Years of conservation attention have ensued. To consider whether such efforts have resulted in positive change, we reviewed the status of sturgeon species and fisheries globally and considered changes in trade policy (e.g. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)), legislative action, fisheries management, market mechanisms/consumer outreach, and caviar aquaculture. Legal commercial fishing continues to pressure more than half of the extant species, while illegal fishing threatens all species. Local extinctions have occurred in 70% of species. A boom and bust cycle of historic fisheries is apparent, with over one third of recorded fisheries crashing within 20 years of inception. All major sturgeon fisheries have surpassed peak productivity, with present catches below 10% of historic peak landings in the most important fishery (Caspian Sea). While some positive change is apparent, our review suggests that the most powerful tools available for affecting change are not being adequately implemented, with populations plummeting as a result. Recommendations for averting extinction include a stronger stance for fisheries management and trade policy regulation and tighter control over and greater use of the burgeoning aquaculture industry.

Authors highlighted in blue are staff of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.


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