How long can fisheries management delay action in response to ecosystem and climate change?

Brown, Christopher J., Fulton, Elizabeth A., Possingham, Hugh P. and Richardson, Anthony J. (2012) How long can fisheries management delay action in response to ecosystem and climate change?. Ecological Applications, 22 1: 298-310. doi:10.1890/11-0419.1

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Author Brown, Christopher J.
Fulton, Elizabeth A.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Richardson, Anthony J.
Title How long can fisheries management delay action in response to ecosystem and climate change?
Journal name Ecological Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-0761
Publication date 2012-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/11-0419.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 22
Issue 1
Start page 298
End page 310
Total pages 13
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Sustainable management of fisheries is often compromised by management delaying implementation of regulations that reduce harvest, in order to maintain higher catches in the short term. Decreases or increases in fish population growth rate driven by environmental change, including ecosystem and climate change, affect the harvest that can be taken sustainably. If not acted on rapidly, environmental change could result in unsustainable fishing or missed opportunity for higher catches. Using simulation models of harvested fish populations influenced by environmental change, we explore how long fisheries managers can afford to wait before changing harvest regulations in response to changes in population growth. If environmental change causes population declines, delays greater than five years increase the probability of population collapse. Species with fast and highly variable population growth rates are more susceptible to collapse under delays and should be a priority for revised management where delays occur. Generally, the long-term cost of delay, in terms of lost fishing opportunity, exceeds the short-term benefits of overfishing. Lowering harvest limits and monitoring for environmental change can alleviate the impact of delays; however, these measures may be more costly than reducing delays. We recommend that management systems that allow rapid responses to population growth changes be enacted for fisheries management to adapt to ecosystem and climate change.
Keyword Adaptive management
Climate change impact
Fishery management
Population dynamics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 02 Apr 2012, 11:30:06 EST by System User on behalf of School of Biological Sciences