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Fisheries Management
1. Introduction 

Expedition Menu


2. Cod Quotas
3. Moratoriums?

4. Rockfish Moratorium
5. Ecosystem
6. Ecosystem

7. Marine Protected Areas

8. Studies of MPAs

9. Hope?

10. A Comeback?

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Don's Introduction

Hi Everybody,

Welcome back. Today we are down here at Fishermanís Wharf, which is just not a tourist attraction, but is a working fishing wharf as we will see in some of the pictures. In come the ships each morning, dropping off salmon, crab, and halibut. Fish come in and fish go out, some to be distributed locally here in bay area and some is put on jets to be flown to various parts of the country and the world. In this expedition we will begin to look at the complex issues of what do you do, how do you try to regulate this industry in order to maintain a sustainable fishery, and itís a very complex issues without easy answers. It brings in social aspects, economic aspects, environmental aspects, and scientific aspects, on all scales, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally Ė itís a global issue. So you can act locally to produce a sustainable global fishing industry and fisheries stock out in the ocean. The problem is, however, itís a very difficult scientific subject:

How do you assess fish stocks?

How do you try to count the fish in the sea, something that you cannot see, you cannot feel, and you can never know with precise accuracy.

So it takes different types of data that are integrated into complex models to try to better understand how we can preserve this fishery for not just next year, but for decades to come.  

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This expedition has a total of about 80 minutes of audio and video segment

In the previous expeditions we discussed the conditions that have led to the decline in many marine fisheries worldwide. Next we examined some of the methods of science that are being used to better understand fish stock and the impacts of fishing practices and selective fisheries management, for better or worse.

The reading assignments associated with expeditions 2 and 3 describe how scientists are trying to improve the accuracy of fish stock assessments, using virtual population analysis, research surveying, catch per unit effort and the application of chaos theory, but it is a difficult problem.

Objective of this expedition:

Students will learn about the connection between stock assessment and fisheries management through the concept of maximum sustainable yield. The fishing pressure is then regulated by placing limits, or quotas, for example, on the commercial catch of cod in the northeast, to prevent overfishing, followed by a complete cessation of fishing, called a moratorium. A parallel situation, and management practice, happened a few years ago along California when a moratorium was placed on commercial rockfish harvesting, once again as an attempt to prevent overfishing and to stimulate a recovery in rockfish stocks.

The traditional methods of stock management have met with mixed results, o no experiment are being conducted in setting aside marine protected areas (MPAs), in which fishing has been permanently halted, which we will also learn about in this expedition.

Last, we will examine some new methods of management that may provide hope for the future.

However, each of us, as consumers, have a role to play by making informed decisions at the market or a in a restaurant on the foods we buy and meals we eat.

Created By:
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Don Reed
Dept. of Geology
San Jose State University
©Copyright 2008
Last Updated on 
August 27, 2008

How is stock assessment used in fisheries management?