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Free Content Can We Reach Agreement on a Standardized Approach to Ecosystem-based Fishery Management?

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In the 25 yrs since the Magnuson Fisheries Conservation and Management Act was passed, substantial agreement has been reached about how to manage single-species fisheries in the U.S. Biological reference points, such as the biomass that will produce maximum sustained fisheries yield, are estimated from fairly standardized kinds of fisheries models, and management regulations such as quotas are set according to control rules based on these reference points. Debate about the specifics of single-species fisheries management takes place within this basic framework. However, the objectives, principles, goals, and scientific methodology of ecosystem-based management are in an early stage of development, and no standardized approach currently exists. Ecosystem-based management regimes may run the gamut from a suite of single-species reference points to that based on reference points that measure some level of ecosystem function (e.g., measures of biodiversity). Management regimes that do not rely upon quantitative reference points, such as systems of marine protected areas, gear restrictions, or community-based management, have also been referred to as ecosystem-based management. Inclusion of ecosystem values such as biodiversity and ecosystem function in fisheries management under U.S. fisheries law will require evolution of consensus toward a standardized, practical approach to ecosystem-based management.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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