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.”
Jan Steffen | EurekAlert!
Treatment of saline wastewater during algae utilization
14.05.2019 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Plastic gets a do-over: Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out
07.05.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2019 | Life Sciences