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The ecosystem approach to fisheries: Management at the dynamic interface between biodiversity conservation and sustainable use


Jennings, S and Smith, ADM and Fulton, EA and Smith, DC, The ecosystem approach to fisheries: Management at the dynamic interface between biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1322, (1) pp. 48-60. ISSN 0077-8923 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

DOI: doi:10.1111/nyas.12489


The emergence of an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) was characterized by the adoption of objectives for maintaining ecosystem health alongside those for fisheries. The EAF was expected to meet some aspirations for biodiversity conservation, but health was principally linked to sustainable use rather than lower levels of human impact. Consequently, while policies including EAF concepts identified objectives for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation, the wording often reflected unresolved societal and political debates about objectives and gave imprecise guidance on addressing inevitable trade-offs. Despite scientific progress in making trade-offs and consequences explicit, there remain substantial differences in interpretations of acceptable impact, responses to uncertainty and risk, and the use of management measures by groups accountable for fisheries management and biodiversity conservation. Within and among nations and regions, these differences are influenced by the contribution of fisheries, aquaculture, farming, and trade to food security, consumers' options, and other social, economic, and environmental factors. Notwithstanding, mutual understanding of the motivations and norms of fisheries management and biodiversity conservation groups is increasing, and interactions between these groups have likely supported more progress toward meeting their stated objectives than would have otherwise been achievable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aquaculture; Biodiversity; Conservation; Fisheries; Food security; agricultural worker; aquaculture; article; conservation biology; ecosystem; ecosystem approach to fishery; ecosystem health; environmental factor; environmental impact; food security
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Smith, ADM (Dr Tony Smith)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
ID Code:119569
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2017-08-02
Last Modified:2017-09-14

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