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Impacts of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems


Smith, ADM and Brown, CJ and Bulman, CM and Fulton, EA and Johnson, P and Kaplan, IC and Lozano-Montes, H and Mackinson, S and Marzloff, M and Shannon, LJ and Shin, YJ and Tam, J, Impacts of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems, Science, 333, (6046) pp. 1147-1150. ISSN 0036-8075 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright American Association for the Advancement of Science

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1209395


Low–trophic level species account for more than 30% of global fisheries production and contribute substantially to global food security. We used a range of ecosystem models to explore the effects of fishing low–trophic level species on marine ecosystems, including marine mammals and seabirds, and on other commercially important species. In five well-studied ecosystems, we found that fishing these species at conventional maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels can have large impacts on other parts of the ecosystem, particularly when they constitute a high proportion of the biomass in the ecosystem or are highly connected in the food web. Halving exploitation rates would result in much lower impacts on marine ecosystems while still achieving 80% of MSY.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecosystem effects of fishing, small pelagic fish, ecosystem-based fishery management
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
UTAS Author:Marzloff, M (Dr Martin Marzloff)
ID Code:76129
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:419
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2012-02-28
Last Modified:2018-03-20
Downloads:22 View Download Statistics

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