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Ecosystem Based FMSY Values in Fisheries Management
How much to fish -Current FMSY values used are based on traditional single species consideration that ignores ecosystem functioning.....
NMTT has carried out a project on "Ecosystem Based FMSY Values in Fisheries Management". The aim was to bridge the gap between the science available and the fisheries management and to "pick the low hanging fruits" of the very substantial multispecies and ecosystem research which has taken place over the past four decades. This research has revealed how species interact in the ecosystem. For instance, a cod will eat many small fish like sprat, so a large cod stock will mean smaller fishing quotas for sprat. A large cod stock will also mean lower growth of individual cod due to food competition. For decades such ecosystem effects could generally be ignored in the fisheries management due to the bigger problem of overfishing. In recent years in the Northeast Atlantic where overfishing has generally ended and fish stocks are building up, these ecosystem effects becomes important. The current project has two innovative ideas for bringing this research into practical management action almost immediately.
FMSY is a biological reference point that represents the fishing pressure that gives the maximum sustainable yield of a given fish stock. The annual fishing quotas are set to correspond to a fishing pressure of FMSY. The current project will come up with new FMSY values, which are based on ecosystem functioning, for each of the data rich fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic.
The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR), the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) via the Norwegian Fisheries Research Fund, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food. The total budget is 3 million DKK and the project will run until the end of 2018. Henrik Sparholt from NMTT is the project-leader.
Read more about the project here.
And see and download the final report here