This Thursday: Seminar with Andre Punt

Is it easier to manage marine mammals than fisheries? Tails of successes

Thursday, 4:30 pm, Fishery Sciences Auditorium


Uncertainty in fisheries management is pervasive. It has often been stated that “counting fish is like counting trees, except trees don’t move and you can see them”. Managers of fisheries and commercial and aboriginal whaling both aim to achieve a balance between conservation and utilization. Perhaps surprisingly, there is strong evidence that even when there is harvesting, aspects of the biology and monitoring of baleen whales makes it possible to achieve management goals fairly often. These aspects include the ability to estimate absolute abundance with reasonable precision for many stocks of baleen whales, the availability of data to inform estimates of likely population growth rates, and the implementation of precautionary harvest control rules which have been tested using simulations. I will review the status of baleen whale and the fish stocks worldwide and identify what fisheries can learn from marine mammal management.


André E. Punt is a Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University Washington, Seattle, USA and the currently the Director of the School. He received his B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Before joining the University of Washington, Dr Punt was a Principal Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research in Australia. Dr. Punt has been involved in stock assessment and fisheries management for over 25 years and has been recognized for his contributions in this area with awards from CSIRO, the University of Washington, the Australian Society for Fish Biology, and the American Fisheries Society. The research undertaken by Dr. Punt and the MPAM (Marine Population and Management) group at the University of Washington relates broadly to the development and application of fisheries stock assessment techniques, bioeconomic modelling, and the evaluation of the performance of stock assessment methods and harvest control rules using the Management Strategy Evaluation approach. Dr. Punt has published over 250 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, along with over 400 technical reports. Dr Punt is currently a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Crab Plan Team of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.

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