Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diverse catches are better for fishery ecosystems

Date:
March 15, 2012
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Fishing for a "balanced harvest" can achieve productive fisheries as well as environmental conservation, an international scientific team reports.

A moderate level of fishing – spread across a wide range of species, stocks and sizes – can achieve high catch levels while conserving biodiversity.
Credit: CSIRO

Fishing for a 'balanced harvest' can achieve productive fisheries as well as environmental conservation, an international scientific team recently reported in the journal Science.

In contrast, increasing fishing selectivity to catch a small group of species and sizes neither maximises production nor minimises the ecological effects of fishing, according to the paper titled, 'Reconsidering the Consequences of Selective Fisheries'.

The collaboration that led to the paper was fostered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Commission on Ecosystem Management and involved both conservation and fisheries scientists.

It supports earlier research by co-authors Shijie Zhou, Beth Fulton and Tony Smith of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship that found a moderate level of fishing -- spread across a wide range of species, stocks and sizes -- can achieve high catch levels while conserving biodiversity.

The new evidence, including results from Dr Fulton's modelling of 30 ecosystems worldwide, confirms that with fishing spread over more groups and sizes, yields are higher and the adverse impacts of fishing on biodiversity are lower.

"Traditionally, fisheries have used species and size limits, gear technology and spatial and temporal fishing restrictions to increase selectivity: capturing species, sexes, and sizes in proportions that differ from their occurrence in the ecosystem," Dr Smith says.

"This has been intended to help sustain target populations, protect rare and charismatic species, and minimise the capture of unwanted species and sizes (bycatch).

"But selective removals, except at economically unacceptably low levels of harvest, inevitably alter the composition of a population or community and, consequently, ecosystem structure and biodiversity."

The authors show that heavy selective fishing has caused structural changes to fish communities in the North Sea and elsewhere.

By contrast, in several African small-scale inland fisheries, the fish size spectrum -- a measure of community structure -- has been maintained under intensive and diverse fishing activities that cause high mortality with low selectivity.

Implementing balanced harvesting requires coordinated management at an ecosystem level across all fisheries in a region. Ecosystem modelling could help in determining appropriate patterns of fishing.

Markets and the processing sector in some regions would need encouragement to accommodate sizes and species not traditionally utilised.

The authors say that while issues regarding the potential benefits and implementation of balanced harvesting remain, consideration of food security and ecosystem impacts suggests the time has come to take action.

The paper's lead authors are Serge Garcia of the IUCN-CEM Fisheries Expert Group; Jeppe Kolding of the University of Bergen, Norway; Jake Rice of Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa, Ontario; Marie-Joλlle of L'Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), and Shijie Zhou of CSIRO.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. M. Garcia, J. Kolding, J. Rice, M.- J. Rochet, S. Zhou, T. Arimoto, J. E. Beyer, L. Borges, A. Bundy, D. Dunn, E. A. Fulton, M. Hall, M. Heino, R. Law, M. Makino, A. D. Rijnsdorp, F. Simard, A. D. M. Smith. Reconsidering the Consequences of Selective Fisheries. Science, 2012; 335 (6072): 1045 DOI: 10.1126/science.1214594

Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Diverse catches are better for fishery ecosystems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095801.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2012, March 15). Diverse catches are better for fishery ecosystems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095801.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Diverse catches are better for fishery ecosystems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315095801.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) — Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins