Managing Fisheries Effects on Marine Food Webs in Antarctica: Trade-offs Among Harvest Strategies, Monitoring, and Assessment in Achieving Conservation Objectives
Harvesting of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean is managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which is widely known for its ecosystem approach to managing fisheries and inclusion of food-web maintenance in the conservation objectives. CCAMLR has developed a precautionary approach to account for predators when setting catch limits for krill, the most important prey species in the Antarctic marine ecosystem. It has also established an ecosystem monitoring program to help detect effects of prey harvesting on predators. CCAMLR’s approach is intended to permit both recovery of overexploited species and ecologically sustainable development of fisheries without causing damage to the Antarctic marine ecosystem. The trade-offs are between the harvest strategies (catches) and the ability to obtain sufficient information and knowledge for management of fisheries in a way that achieves the conservation objectives. This paper presents general principles of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries using the CCAMLR approaches as examples. It discusses the precautionary and ecosystem approaches of CCAMLR, the types of objectives being considered for predators, and the general approaches and monitoring programs that could achieve ecosystem/food web conservation objectives.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 May 2004
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