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!
Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
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...
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...
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....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences