Ecological and economic considerations in the conservation and management of the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax)

Authors: Hannesson, Rögnvaldur; Herrick,, Samuel; Field, John

Source: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Volume 66, Number 5, May 2009 , pp. 859-868(10)

Publisher: NRC Research Press

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In this paper, we consider economic and ecological issues associated with the Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) as a commercially harvested species relative to its importance as prey for species of commercial, recreational, and ecological significance. Using economic theory and ecosystem modeling results for the California Current, we investigate whether sardines might be more valuable as forage than as commercial landings. Our analysis considers various conditions under which this would be justified. For example, ex-vessel prices of commercially important sardine predators near the high end of their respective ranges in recent years and the ex-vessel price of sardine at the low end of its respective range would favor leaving more sardine as forage fish. However, even if it were advisable to reduce the volume of the sardine fishery to leave more forage for other, more valuable species, it does not necessarily imply that the sardine fishery should be shut down altogether. Rather, our results indicate that consideration of the trade-offs is a key element of ecosystem-based fishery management.

Notre étude s’intéresse aux questions économiques et écologiques associées à la sardine du Pacifique (Sardinops sagax) en tant qu’espèce récoltée commercialement, relativement à son importance comme proie pour d’autres espèces qui sont d’intérêt commercial, sportif et écologique. La théorie économique et des résultats de modélisation dans le courant de Californie nous servent à déterminer si les sardines pourraient être de plus grande valeur comme fourrage que comme débarquements commerciaux. Notre analyse examine diverses conditions qui justifieraient cette assertion. Par exemple, les prix au débarquement des prédateurs de sardines d’importance commerciale dans la partie supérieure de leur gamme et les prix des sardines au débarquement dans la partie inférieure de leur gamme renforcent la proposition de laisser plus de sardines comme poissons fourrage. Cependant, même s’il est recommandable de réduire le volume de la pêche commerciale aux sardines afin de laisser plus de fourrage à d’autres espèces de plus grande valeur, cela n’entraîne pas qu’il faille fermer complètement la pêche commerciale aux sardines. Nos résultats indiquent plutôt que l’examen des compromis est un des éléments essentiels de la gestion des pêches commerciales en fonction des écosystèmes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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