Managing inland fisheries in the 21st century presents several obstacles including the need to view fisheries from multiple scales, which usually involves populations and resources spanning sociopolitical boundaries. Inland fisheries managers are increasingly using Transboundary Fisheries Science, a strategy that involves organization, cooperation, analytics and implementation, as an interdisciplinary and holistic approach for understanding and managing ecosystems across larger scales. A new study by an LSU researcher was published on Sept. 13 in Fisheries magazine.
"Large-scale fisheries problems often require large-scale fisheries data, and Transboundary Fisheries Science is the framework for bringing together disparate teams and data to address these problems," said Steve Midway, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences assistant professor and lead author of the study. "Transboundary Fisheries Science is not only a way to get more managers and scientists to the table, but a way to approach data so that large-scale fisheries' issues can be addressed in a holistic and robust way."
While inland fisheries managers traditionally work at small spatial scales with objectives that have a limited timeframe, there is a great need for a broader approach since reducing large-scale problems often requires data from multiple sources. Transboundary Fisheries Science provides that broader approach, allowing inland fisheries managers to define the problem, form long-term goals and maintain progress.
Midway and colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey highlighted the important role Transboundary Fisheries Science will continue to play in inland fisheries management: "Because global demands on aquatic resources are likely to increase into the future, with the potential for disrupting the social-ecological linkages, we posit that Transboundary Fisheries Science will become increasingly necessary to address the growing challenges associated with managing inland fisheries at local and regional scales."
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