Fish, Fact and Fantasy: a Long View

Fish, Fact and Fantasy: a Long View This paper suggests ways forward from the widely perceived present failures of fishery assessment and management. A history of fishery yield modelling is presented from the carefree days of the 1950s to the depressing series of stock collapses and depletions of the 1980s. Underlying this gruesome story has been the failure of management by quotas to arrest overcapacity in fishing power, the lack of robust and informative reference points and the inadequacy of methods dealing with some multispecies fisheries. The paper refines the use of the concept of Fext, defined as the minimum value of F in a self-regenerating yield model that leads to eventual extinction in a family of yield curves generated with a range of stock recruitment curves. Model reconstructions for North Sea cod and Icelandic herring make evident calamitous losses in catches forgone as result of the failure of rational management. An optimistic agenda that may achieve more effective fishery management in the future is presented. In some ways, we may have been trying to be too clever. A simple management system based on careful monitoring of fishing effort, biological targets such as F95, and exploitation of a diversity of fish resources may suffice to avert further disaster and hedge against uncertainty. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries Springer Journals

Fish, Fact and Fantasy: a Long View

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Zoology
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