Aspects of the 'ecological risk assessment' (ERA) method have been adopted in the US, Canada, Ecuador, and the Western and Central Pacific, and by the international eco-labelling organisation the Marine Stewardship Council.
The method was developed in research led by Dr Tony Smith and Dr Alistair Hobday from CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship in association with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).
“AFMA needed a tool for assessing the ecological risk associated with a diverse range of fishing practices: from the hand-selection of rock lobsters in the Coral Sea, to the trawling of Patagonian Toothfish deep in the Southern Ocean,” Dr Smith says.
“We met the challenge with a three-step method that considers targeted and incidentally caught species, as well as threatened, endangered and protected species. Ongoing research is further developing the method for habitats and ecological communities.
“Our ERA reports document the most comprehensive assessment of the ecological impacts of fishing in Australia’s commercial fisheries and for any large set of fisheries in the world” Dr Alistair Hobday“Each level of analysis potentially screens out issues of low concern and directs attention to higher risk issues. This helps fishery managers to guard against unacceptable changes to the ecosystem, while being strategic about where to focus dollars and time,” Dr Smith says.
Dr Hobday says the completion of ERA reports for more than 30 AFMA-managed fishing sectors has been a mammoth undertaking involving many years of work by a large research team.
“Our ERA reports document the most comprehensive assessment of the ecological impacts of fishing in Australia’s commercial fisheries and for any large set of fisheries in the world,” he says.
“More than 1200 species have been assessed, highlighting the diversity of Australian fisheries and pointing to risks requiring analysis and management, both for individual fisheries, and on a cumulative scale.”
The ERA process contributes to the strategic assessment of fisheries under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and flags priorities for research, data collection, monitoring and management.
AFMA is responding with environmental risk management strategies for each fishery and other initiatives such as a guide for fishery managers to help manage shark bycatch. (Sharks and rays come out repeatedly as high-risk species across many fisheries.)
The research has also yielded a database of information on more than 1000 species of mammals, seabirds, reptiles, scalefish, and sharks and rays.
The Bureau of Rural Sciences, Fisheries Victoria, Fishwell Consulting, and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries assisted with the ERA research.
CSIRO initiated the National Research Flagships to provide science-based solutions to Australia’s major research challenges and opportunities. The 10 Flagships form multidisciplinary teams with industry and the research community.
Bryony Bennett | EurekAlert!
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences