Ecosystem-based Management for Protected Species in the North Pacific Fisheries

Heltzel, Jeannie M. and Witherell, David and Wilson, William J. (2011) Ecosystem-based Management for Protected Species in the North Pacific Fisheries. Marine Fisheries Review, 73(3), pp. 20-35.

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In the North Pacific Ocean, an ecosystem-based fishery management approach has been adopted. A significant objective of this approach is to reduce interactions between fishery-related activities and protected species. We review management measures developed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service to reduce effects of the groundfish fisheries off Alaska on marine mammals and seabirds, while continuing to provide economic opportunities for fishery participants. Direct measures have been taken to mitigate known fishery impacts, and precautionary measures have been taken for species with potential (but no documented) interactions with the groundfish fisheries. Area closures limit disturbance to marine mammals at rookeries and haulouts, protect sensitive benthic habitat, and reduce potential competition for prey resources. Temporal and spatial dispersion of catches reduce the localized impact of fishery removals. Seabird avoidance measures have been implemented through collaboration with fishery participants and have been highly successful in reducing seabird bycatch. Finally, a comprehensive observer monitoring program provides data on the location and extent of bycatch of marine mammals and seabirds. These measures provide managers with the flexibility to adapt to changes in the status of protected species and evolving conditions in the fisheries. This review should be useful to fishery managers as an example of an ecosystem-based approach to protected species management that is adaptive and accounts for multiple objectives.

Item Type: Article
Title: Ecosystem-based Management for Protected Species in the North Pacific Fisheries
Personal Creator/Author:
Heltzel, Jeannie M.
Witherell, David
Wilson, William J.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 73
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 20-35
Date: 2011
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Item ID: 9660
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 12:32
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 12:32

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