This expedition has a total of about 60 minutes of audio and video segments
In the previous expeditions, we discussed
the conditions that have led to the decline in many marine fisheries.
The reading assignments, posted in Desire2Learn describe how scientists are trying to improve the accuracy of fish stock assessments, but it is a difficult problem.
So what should be done to address the decline in some fish sttocks and to produce a sustainable fishery over time?
This is the domain of fish stock management, which is the U.S. is directed by regional fisheries management councils, such as the Pacific Fishery Management Council along the west coast, which attempts to regulate the size of the fish catch, and therefore, produce a sustainable fishery, but regulations are not always welcome by an industry that has been free to fish on the open sea (and the regulations have had unintended consequences in some cases).
For example, attempts at stock management include:
- changing the target fish, which resulted to serial depletion of stocks,
- changing fishing practices, which lead to the development of longlines, and the problem of bycatch,
Objective of this expedition:
Students will learn about some of the methods to manage fish stocks to address the decline in impacted marine fisheries.
In this expedition
students will first learn about the management method of placing size limits on individual fish in the catch and catch quotas or limits on the total catch, first on the commercial catch of cod in the northeast, to prevent overfishing, and then on bluefin tuna. If quotas do not do the job, then a complete cessation of fishing, called a moratorium. may be necessary. 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.
A growing movement has been to establish marine reserves, or 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 that provide hope for the future.