Adverse feedback sequences in exploited marine systems: Are deliberate interruptive actions warranted?

Bakun, A. and Weeks, S. J. (2006) Adverse feedback sequences in exploited marine systems: Are deliberate interruptive actions warranted?. Fish and Fisheries, 7 4: 316-333. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2979.2006.00229.x

Author Bakun, A.
Weeks, S. J.
Title Adverse feedback sequences in exploited marine systems: Are deliberate interruptive actions warranted?
Journal name Fish and Fisheries   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1467-2960
Publication date 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2006.00229.x
Volume 7
Issue 4
Start page 316
End page 333
Total pages 18
Editor Paul J. B. Hart
Tony J. Pitcher
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
260499 Oceanography not elsewhere classified
260403 Physical Oceanography
260401 Biological Oceanography
780104 Earth sciences
Abstract Several mechanisms for self-enhancing feedback instabilities in marine ecosystems are identified and briefly elaborated. It appears that adverse phases of operation may be abruptly triggered by explosive breakouts in abundance of one or more previously suppressed populations. Moreover, an evident capacity of marine organisms to accomplish extensive geographic habitat expansions may expand and perpetuate a breakout event. This set of conceptual elements provides a framework for interpretation of a sequence of events that has occurred in the Northern Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (off south-western Africa). This history can illustrate how multiple feedback loops might interact with one another in unanticipated and quite malignant ways, leading not only to collapse of customary resource stocks but also to degradation of the ecosystem to such an extent that disruption of customary goods and services may go beyond fisheries alone to adversely affect other major global ecosystem concerns (e.g. proliferations of jellyfish and other slimy, stingy, toxic and/or noxious organisms, perhaps even climate change itself, etc.). The wisdom of management interventions designed to interrupt an adverse mode of feedback operation is pondered. Research pathways are proposed that may lead to improved insights needed: (i) to avoid potential 'triggers' that might set adverse phases of feedback loop operation into motion; and (ii) to diagnose and properly evaluate plausible actions to reverse adverse phases of feedback operation that might already have been set in motion. These pathways include the drawing of inferences from available 'quasi-experiments' produced either by short-term climatic variation or inadvertently in the course of biased exploitation practices, and inter-regional applications of the comparative method of science.
Keyword Complex Adaptive Systems
Ecosystem-based Fishery Management
Nonlinear Dynamics
Northern Benguela Lme
Population Dynamics
Predator Pit
Stock-recruitment Relationships
School-mix Feedback
Environmental Variability
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 08:23:50 EST