Ecosystem Trade-offs in Managing New England Fisheries
Abstract:We describe some recent experiences with ecosystem trade-offs in managing marine fisheries in New England. Conflicting legislative mandates to conserve fishery resources while sustaining fisheries, protecting essential fish habitat, and promoting the recovery of protected species are underlying themes. In the Atlantic sea-scallop fishery, spatial management approaches are promising but require trade-offs with groundfish closed areas and protection of essential fish habitat. Rebuilding groundfish stocks and promoting the recovery of endangered and threatened species have conflicted with traditional policies of allowing unrestricted access to fishing grounds. For the Atlantic herring and mackerel fisheries, we describe trade-offs between maintaining these abundant pelagic stocks and minimizing forgone yields and negative fishery feedbacks. Although applying a holistic ecosystem approach to management of New England marine fisheries should reduce conflicts and improve stakeholder satisfaction, such an approach will, in practice, be tempered by political interests and the willingness of the public to pay for increased management and resource costs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2004
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