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Managing fisheries for maximum nutrient yield


Robinson, JPW and Nash, KL and Blanchard, JL and Jacobsen, NS and Maire, E and Graham, NAJ and MacNeil, MA and Zamborain-Mason, J and Allison, EH and Hicks, CC, Managing fisheries for maximum nutrient yield, Fish and Fisheries, 23, (4) pp. 800-811. ISSN 1467-2960 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2022 The Authors. Fish and Fisheries published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1111/faf.12649


Wild-caught fish are a bioavailable source of nutritious food that, if managed strategically, could enhance diet quality for billions of people. However, optimising nutrient production from the sea has not been a priority, hindering development of nutrition-sensitive policies. With fisheries management increasingly effective at rebuilding stocks and regulating sustainable fishing, we can now begin to integrate nutritional outcomes within existing management frameworks. Here, we develop a conceptual foundation for managing fisheries for multispecies Maximum Nutrient Yield (mMNY). We empirically test our approach using size-based models of North Sea and Baltic Sea fisheries and show that mMNY is predicted by the relative contribution of nutritious species to total catch and their vulnerability to fishing, leading to trade-offs between catch and specific nutrients. Simulated nutrient yield curves suggest that vitamin D, which is deficient in Northern European diets, was underfished at fishing levels that returned maximum catch weights. Analysis of global catch data shows there is scope for nutrient yields from most of the world's marine fisheries to be enhanced through nutrient-sensitive fisheries management. With nutrient composition data now widely available, we expect our mMNY framework to motivate development of nutrient-based reference points in specific contexts, such as data-limited fisheries. Managing for mMNY alongside policies that promote access to fish could help close nutrient gaps for coastal populations, maximising the contribution of wild-caught fish to global food and nutrition security.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:maximum sustainable yield, food security, micronutrient, size-spectrum model, nutrient deficiencies
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Nash, KL (Dr Kirsty Nash)
UTAS Author:Blanchard, JL (Professor Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:149099
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE210100606)
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-03-08
Last Modified:2022-10-17
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