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Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires a change to the selective fishing philosophy


Zhou, S and Smith, ADM and Punt, AE and Richardson, AJ and Gibbs, M and Fulton, EA and Pascoe, S and Bulman, C and Bayliss, P and Sainsbury, K, Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires a change to the selective fishing philosophy , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America, 107, (21) pp. 9485-9489. ISSN 0027-8424 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences

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DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.0912771107


Globally, many fish species are overexploited, and many stocks have collapsed. This crisis, along with increasing concerns over flow-on effects on ecosystems, has caused a reevaluation of traditional fisheries management practices, and a new ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) paradigm has emerged. As part of this approach, selective fishing is widely encouraged in the belief that nonselective fishing has many adverse impacts. In particular, incidental bycatch is seen as wasteful and a negative feature of fishing, and methods to reduce bycatch are implemented in many fisheries. However, recent advances in fishery science and ecology suggest that a selective approach may also result in undesirable impacts both to fisheries and marine ecosystems. Selective fishing applies one or more of the "6-S" selections: species, stock, size, sex, season, and space. However, selective fishing alters biodiversity, which in turn changes ecosystem functioning and may affect fisheries production, hindering rather than helping achieve the goals of EBFM. We argue here that a "balanced exploitation" approach might alleviate many of the ecological effects of fishing by avoiding intensive removal of particular components of the ecosystem, while still supporting sustainable fisheries. This concept may require reducing exploitation rates on certain target species or groups to protect vulnerable components of the ecosystem. Benefits to society could be maintained or even increased because a greater proportion of the entire suite of harvested species is used.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:balanced exploitation; biodiversity; sustainability; bycatch; 6-S selection
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Sainsbury, K (Professor Keith Sainsbury)
ID Code:67035
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:252
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2011-02-23
Last Modified:2011-09-29
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