Moving from single-species management to ecosystem management

Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) has become popular in recent years, but there is broad debate about what it means and how to implement it. At its simplest level, EBFM involves improving fisheries management by moving beyond management designed for single species, towards considering interactions that are important for entire ecosystems. Part if the reason this is difficult, says a new paper, is that perceptions of what counts as EBFM differ among stock assessment scientists, conservationists, ecologists, and managers. In addition, key aspects of EBFM, such as considering interactions among species, protecting habitat, reducing bycatch, and using ecosystem models for management, are unlikely to all be implemented in any particular fishery. Instead, it is important to select aspects of EBFM that are tailored to a specific fishery when implementing EBFM. The new research was conducted by four SAFS graduate students (John Trochta, Maite Pons, Merrill Rudd, and Melissa Krigbaum), together with Alexander Tanz (School of Marine and Environmental Affairs) and SAFS professor Ray Hilborn, and appears in the journal PLoS One.

Back to Top