Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Potential harvest of most fish stocks largely unrelated to abundance

Fisheries managers should sharpen their ability to spot environmental conditions that hamper or help fish stocks, rather than assuming that having a certain abundance of fish assures how much can be sustainably harvested.


That's because the potential harvest of fish is only closely linked to abundance in 18 percent of 230 fish stocks assessed in a University of Washington-led study, according to Ray Hilborn, UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences. For the other 82 percent of stocks, potential harvest of fish was primarily controlled by irregular shifts in environmental conditions or was random and not controlled by either abundance or shifts in environmental regimes.