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Ecosystem-­based assessment of a kelp-urchin-­lobster system subject to multiple stressors drives spatial management of Tasmanian lobster fishery towards ecologically sustainable harvest rates


Marzloff, MP and Johnson, CR, Ecosystem- based assessment of a kelp-urchin- lobster system subject to multiple stressors drives spatial management of Tasmanian lobster fishery towards ecologically sustainable harvest rates, Programme for the ICES Annual Science Conference 2015, 21-25 September 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark, pp. B12. (2015) [Conference Extract]

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Ecosystem-­‐‑Based Fishery Management (EBFM) has been discussed as a necessity for the viable management of marine resources. However the concept remains difficult to implement despite increasing need for ecosystem-­‐‑based management in the face of multiple anthropogenic and environmental stressors. In eastern Tasmania, the valuable abalone and southern rock lobster fisheries are threatened by formation of sea urchin barrens as a result of overgrazing by the sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii). This circumstance arises from the combined effects of (1) the sea urchin extending its range to eastern Tasmania as a result of ocean warming and shifts in oceanography, and (2) ecological overfishing of its key predator in Tasmania, the southern rock lobster. We developed two independent simulation models that capture the dynamics of the kelp-­‐‑urchin-­‐‑lobster system to assess management strategies. The models show that management to prevent urchin barrens forming is far more achievable than rehabilitating extensive barrens, and they provide clear guidance of targets and alternatives for different levels of risk of loss of kelp beds. Largely as a result of this work, recent changes to management of lobsters have focused on rebuilding biomass. This is one of the few cases of EBFM in practice, informed by modelling complex non-­‐‑linear dynamics.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:ecosystem-based fishery management, decision-support tools, ecological modelling, TRITON model, rock lobster, predation, sea urchin barrens, Tasmania, temperate reef, spatial management, trophic cascade, phase shifts
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Marzloff, MP (Dr Martin Marzloff)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
ID Code:107668
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2016-03-22
Last Modified:2016-03-22
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