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Quantitative Ecosystem Indicators for Fisheries Management

March 31, 2004 - April 04, 2004
Paris, France
Presentation at this event.

The meeting, which was the culmination of a working group SCOR/IOC-119 for developing quantitative indicators for EBFM (www.ioc.unesco.org/iocweb, www.jhu.edu/scor), was attended by more than 250 scientists from 43 countries. The objective of the meeting was to develop indicators of ecosystem status that can be used for ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM).

EBFM is one of the focal research areas for the Pew Institute for Ocean Science. We have identified the lack of indicators that include a spatial component as one of the technical issues that should be addressed in implementing EBFM. Therefore, Dr. Babcock of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science attended the meeting and gave a talk on indicators for ecosystem-based fishery management through spatial zoning. The related paper (co-authored by Pikitch, McAllister, Apostolaki, and Santora) was submitted to the ICES Journal of Marine Science, which is producing a special issue based on the symposium.

Indicators For Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management Through Spatial Zoning

Elizabeth A. Babcock , E.K. Pikitch , M. K. McAllister , P. Apostolaki , C. Santora
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.

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

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