Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better science for better fisheries management

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
Northeastern University
Summary:
Cod fishing in New Eng­land has steadily declined over the past three decades. It's esti­mated that hun­dreds of people have lost their jobs as a result and that con­tinued failure to rebuild the fishery could cost the region's economy a total of $200 mil­lion, studies show. Now, researchers explain how various types of fishing gear can impact the Northeast region's fisheries in the first of a series of research articles.

Cod fishing in New Eng­land has steadily declined over the past three decades. It's esti­mated that hun­dreds of people have lost their jobs as a result and that con­tinued failure to rebuild the fishery could cost the region's economy a total of $200 mil­lion, according to the New Eng­land Fishery Man­age­ment Council.

But the big con­cern is really one of cul­ture, according to Northeastern's Jon Grabowski. "You're talking about an iconic fishery. Cod has been fished in these waters going back hun­dreds and hun­dreds of years," said Grabowski, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of marine and envi­ron­mental sci­ence at the university's Marine Sci­ence Center in Nahant, Mass­a­chu­setts. "You can go back a thou­sand years to the Basques coming over to fish these his­tor­i­cally really pro­duc­tive grounds," he said.

Grabowski, has been working with other fish­eries sci­en­tists as well as econ­o­mists, social sci­en­tists, and policy makers to deter­mine the best strate­gies for dealing with the all of the North­east region's fish­eries that impact habitat, which includes cod, had­dock, cusk, scal­lops, clams and other fish that live near the sea floor and are of sig­nif­i­cant socioe­co­nomic value to the region.

In the first of a series of research arti­cles pro­duced by the PDT, Grabowski and his col­leagues examine the vul­ner­a­bility of ground­fish habi­tats to var­ious types of fishing gear. "We reviewed how all the dif­ferent geo­log­ical and bio­log­ical com­po­nents of habitat are affected by these dif­ferent types of gear," Grabowski said. The com­mittee exam­ined how easily these habi­tats can be dam­aged and how long it takes for them to recover.

They found that mobile fishing gear such as trawls and dredges that drag along the bottom cause more damage to areas inhab­ited by ground­fish than sta­tionary gear like traps and gill­nets. They also found that larger geo­log­ical fea­tures, such as cobble and boul­ders, are more sus­cep­tible to damage and take longer to recover than sand and mud -- after all, some of these geo­log­ical fea­tures have taken mil­lennia to form.

The research, pub­lished online last month in the journal Reviews in Fish­eries Sci­ence & Aqua­cul­ture, uses these results to develop a frame­work that will pro­vide fish­eries man­agers a stan­dard­ized method for iden­ti­fying the most vul­ner­able habi­tats. Their work is being used as part of the Second Habitat Omnibus to inform redesigning the fishing clo­sures on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine.

"We worry most about the com­po­nents of habi­tats that are highly sus­cep­tible to any of these gears and that have very long recovery times. Those are the kinds of per­sis­tent and severe impacts that we'd want to manage against," Grabowski said. His research focuses on the many inter­con­necting arms of fish­eries sci­ence and management.

Grabowski said there are many stake­holders involved when dealing with com­plex chal­lenges like New England's fishery prob­lems. His approach focuses on inter­dis­ci­pli­nary solu­tions to these chal­lenges by exam­ining not just the basic ecology of these species and their habi­tats, but also the ways in which the coastal com­mu­ni­ties are reacting to how fish­eries are managed.

Grabowski com­pared him­self to a cod -- a gen­er­alist in the marine world -- since he works across tra­di­tional insti­tu­tional and sec­to­rial bound­aries to iden­tify the best strate­gies and find ways to effec­tively imple­ment them.

"At the end of the day," Grabowski said, "if we really want to do some­thing about sus­tain­ability, we must be doing the kinds of things that involve policy and help shape the way society self regulates."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northeastern University. The original article was written by Angela Herring. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jon Grabowski et al. Assessing the Vulnerability of Marine Benthos to Fishing Gear Impacts. Reviews in Fish­eries Sci­ence & Aqua­cul­ture, May 2014 DOI: 10.1080/10641262.2013.846292

Cite This Page:

Northeastern University. "Better science for better fisheries management." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160759.htm>.
Northeastern University. (2014, May 19). Better science for better fisheries management. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160759.htm
Northeastern University. "Better science for better fisheries management." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160759.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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