Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A shortcut to sustainable fisheries

17.07.2012
Biologists from Kiel and Vancouver present a simple way to estimate Maximum Sustainable Yield

Up to now, methods to estimate the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) of fish stocks are very complex and, as a consequence, expensive. However, Dr Rainer Froese, biologist with GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany) and Dr Steven Martell, biologist with the University of British Columbia (Canada) have recently presented a new, much simpler method to estimate the MSY. This method may even affect the proposed reform of the European fisheries.

The aim is straightforward: In 1982, more than 160 countries agreed to maintain the global fish stocks at levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) over a long term. This agreement is part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into force in 1994 and which has been ratified by Germany and all other countries of the European Union. While the USA, Australia or New Zealand started to change their fishing policies on the basis of UNCLOS years ago, reforms in the EU only started in 2012.

One basic problem in fisheries reform is the specification of a reference point for sustainable management of fish stocks. “Until now one needs a long time series quantifying the total number of fish belonging to one stock”, explains Dr Rainer Froese, fisheries scientist with GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. For these stock evaluations, extensive and expensive research is necessary. Therefore, for many fish stocks, the MSY is still unknown. Now Dr Froese and Dr Steven Martell, biologist with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (CA), have come up with a new, much simpler method to estimate MSY. They present it online in the international journal “Fish and Fisheries”.

“Instead of using the total number of fish in one stock we use catch data, which are available for most fish stocks”, explains Dr. Froese. As a second type of data they use an estimate of the resilience of the species. “This is basic biological knowledge. For most species, it’s available from FishBase, a global database with key information on all fish of the world”, says Dr Froese. From the relationship between catch data and resilience, the two biologists calculate the MSY.

To test their new idea, Dr Froese and Dr. Martell applied it to 148 different fish stocks from all over the world, where earlier studies had already estimated MSY with conventional methods. “We found excellent agreement between our results and those achieved with the data-hungry standard methods”, Froese emphasises.

The new method to estimate MSY also has an unexpected European Union dimension. On 12 June 2012 the EU agricultural ministers, who are also in charge of European fisheries, agreed to allow continued overfishing until 2020 for fish stocks where no sustainability reference points are available. This is currently the case for the majority of the European stocks. Such justification for high catch quotas may now have disappeared. As Rainer Froese puts it: “Lack of reference points can no longer be used as an excuse for lack of management.”


Reference:
Martell, S., R. Froese (2012): A simple method for estimating MSY from catch data and resilience. Fish and Fisheries, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2979.2012.00485.x

Ansprechpartner:
Dr. Rainer Froese (GEOMAR, RD3), rfroese(at)geomar.de
Jan Steffen (GEOMAR, Communication and Media), Tel.: 0431 600-2811, jsteffen(at)geomar.de

Jan Steffen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.geomar.de
http://www.geomar.de/index.php?id=4&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5btt_news%5d=812&tx_ttnews%5bbackPid%5d=185&L=1

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

Less is more to produce top-notch 2D materials

20.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>