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Reference points for predators will progress ecosystem-based management of fisheries.

Hill, S.L., Hinkel, J., Bertrand, S., Fritz, L., Furness, R.W., Ianelli, J.N., Murphy, M., Oliveros-Ramos, R., Pichegru, L., Sharp, R., Stillman, R. A., Wright, P..J. and Ratcliffe, N., 2020. Reference points for predators will progress ecosystem-based management of fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 21 (2), 368-378.

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DOI: 10.1111/faf.12434


Ecosystem-based management of fisheries aims to allow sustainable use of fished stocks while keeping impacts upon ecosystems within safe ecological limits. Both the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets promote these aims. We evaluate implementation of ecosystem-based management in six case study fisheries in which potential indirect impacts upon bird or mammal predators of fished stocks are well publicized and well studied. In particular we consider the components needed to enable management strategies to respond to information from predator monitoring. Although such information is available in all case studies, only one has a reference point defining safe ecological limits for predators and none has a method to adjust fishing activities in response to estimates of the state of the predator population. Reference points for predators have been developed outside the fisheries management context but adoption by fisheries managers is hindered a lack of clarity about management objectives and uncertainty about how fishing affects predator dynamics. This also hinders the development of adjustment methods because these generally require information on the state of ecosystem variables relative to reference points. Nonetheless, most of the case studies 58 include precautionary measures to limit impacts on predators. These measures are not used tactically and therefore risk excessive restrictions on sustainable use. Adoption of predator reference points to inform tactical adjustment of precautionary measures would be an appropriate next step towards ecosystem-based management.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funding information Natural Environment Research Council; British Antarctic Survey
Uncontrolled Keywords:Aichi Biodiversity Targets; adaptive management; ecosystem interactions; indirect impacts; management strategy; precautionary approach
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33088
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:29 Nov 2019 15:50
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:18


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