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Ecosystem-based management objectives for the North Sea: riding the forage fish rollercoaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Author(s)

Mark Dickey-Collas, Georg Engelhard, Anna RIndorf, Kristina Raab, Sophie Caroline Smout, Geert Aarts, Martin van Deurs, Thomas Brunel, Ayoe Hoff, Rebecca Lauerberg, Stefan Garthe, Ken Haste Anderson, F Scott, T van Kooten, Douglas Beare, Myron Peck

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The North Sea provides a useful model for considering forage fish (FF) within ecosystem-based management as it has a complex assemblage of FF species. This paper is designed to encourage further debate and dialogue between stakeholders about management objectives. Changing the management of fisheries on FF will have economic consequences for all fleets in the North Sea. The predators that are vul- nerable to the depletion of FF are Sandwich terns, great skua and common guillemots, and to a lesser extent, marine mammals. Comparative evaluations of management strategies are required to consider whether maintaining the reserves of prey biomass or a more integral ap- proach of monitoring mortality rates across the trophic system is more robust under the ecosystem approach. In terms of trophic energy transfer, stability, and resilience of the ecosystem, FF should be considered as both a sized-based pool of biomass and as species components of the system by managers and modellers. Policy developers should not consider the knowledge base robust enough to embark on major projects of ecosystem engineering. Management plans appear able to maintain sustainable exploitation in the short term. Changes in the productivity of FF populations are inevitable so management should remain responsive and adaptive.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Early online date20 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • biomass reserves, ecosystem approach, herring, sandeel, size based, sprat

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