eCite Digital Repository

Seamount fisheries: Do they have a future?


Pitcher, TJ and Clark, MR and Morato, T and Watson, RA, Seamount fisheries: Do they have a future?, Oceanography, 23, (1) pp. 134-144. ISSN 1042-8275 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5670/oceanog.2010.66


Today, seamount fish populations are in trouble following a 30-year history of overexploitation, depletion, and collapse, with untold consequences for global biodiversity and the complex, delicate, but poorly understood, open-ocean food webs. Seamount fishes are especially vulnerable to fishing because their "boom-and-bust" life history characteristics can be exploited by heavy, high-technology fisheries. We estimate present global seamount catches to be about 3 million tonnes per annum and increasing-vastly in excess of estimated sustainable levels. Unfortunately, most seamount fisheries are unmanaged. In a few developed countries, precautionary management regimes have recently been introduced, including protection from bottom trawling. Small-scale artisanal fisheries using less-harmful fishing gear, spatial closures, and low catch levels provide an attractive model for improved seamount fishery management that could foster the reconstruction of previously damaged seamount ecosystems. Such restored systems might one day support a substantial global sustainable fishery, although, like many other fisheries, the prognosis is poor.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:83729
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:57
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2013-03-21
Last Modified:2017-08-25

Repository Staff Only: item control page