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A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT. Introduction to Fisheries Management WMAN 445 August 24, 2006. Common Property. Resources owned by the entire populace without restriction as to who can use them and how. Very “Colonial” and “Republican” Works when supply >> demand

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a brief history of fisheries management
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

Introduction to Fisheries Management

WMAN 445

August 24, 2006

common property
Common Property
  • Resources owned by the entire populace without restriction as to who can use them and how.
  • Very “Colonial” and “Republican”
  • Works when supply >> demand
  • Differed greatly from Europe
tragedy of the commons hardin 1968
Tragedy of the Commons(Hardin 1968)
  • Sheep farmers graze sheep on a common pasture…
  • Net Economic Gain = Benefit – Cost
  • Benefits are individual, costs are shared by all users.
  • Missed Opportunity Costs are transferred to the next generation and shared.
tragedy of the commons hardin 19681
Tragedy of the Commons(Hardin 1968)

The tragedy is that a logical herdsman is compelled to increase his herd without limit.

Therefore, even the most conscientious herder will misuse a common resource.

tragedy of the commons applied to fisheries
Tragedy of the CommonsApplied to Fisheries

Fishermen are compelled to harvest as many fish as possible, because the benefit is direct and unshared and the costs are shared.

The history of Fish Management is a chronicle of governmental attempts to control the logical overexploitation of common property.

colonial america 1600 s 1700 s
Colonial America(1600’s-1700’s)
  • Extremely aggressive resource use
  • Notion that coastal and inland fisheries were limitless.
  • Colonization was largely fueled by Atlantic Cod.
  • Commercial market for cod in Europe and southern US (feed slave labor) lead to the rise of the powerful merchant class in New England.
colonial america 1600 s 1700 s1
Colonial America(1600’s-1700’s)
  • Aggressive exploitation led to severe degradation in heavily populated areas
  • This led to a need for management
  • The view that natural resources as a vast, invulnerable resource took a hit
colonial america 1600 s 1700 s2
Colonial America(1600’s-1700’s)

1652: First known law in North America related to fishing. Massachusetts law restricting fish catches. Response to dramatically declining catch rates of striped bass and Atlantic cod in the Boston area.

colonial america 1600 s 1700 s3
Colonial America(1600’s-1700’s)

General Rule of Colonial Era:

Resources are limitless, but if that proves to be untrue…then move West!

1800 s and the industrial revolution
1800’s and the Industrial Revolution
  • Alteration of Rivers for Navigation
  • Explosion of the Human Population

(mostly immigration)

  • Industrial Revolution
1800 s and the industrial revolution1
1800’s and the Industrial Revolution
  • Commercial Fishing increased exponentially
  • Canning and refrigeration
  • Railroad
  • Large Scale Timbering
slide13

1800’s and the Industrial Revolution

  • Increased demand for fish
  • Increased ability to catch fish
  • Increased ability to store surplus*
  • Increased ability to transport product globally

Result is a classic un-sustainable positive feedback mechanism (increased harvest leads to increased demand leads to increased harvest leads to…crash!)

industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution

….CRASH!

Several Major Fisheries Crashed at the end of the 1800’s

Brook Trout (deforestation, overfishing)

Chinook Salmon (overfishing)

Atlantic Salmon (overfishing, dams)

Sperm Whales (overfishing)

slide20

Moving Trees prior to Railroad

Greenbrier River

Monongahela River

1800 s and the industrial revolution2
1800’s and the Industrial Revolution

In response to fisheries collapses and the wholesale loss of fish and wildlife habitats…

  • AMERICAN FISH CULTURALISTS ASSOCIATION (now AFS)
  • US COMMISSION ON FISH AND FISHERIES (now USFWS)
1800 s and the industrial revolution3
1800’s and the Industrial Revolution

American Fish Culturalists Association

Established to promote fish culture as a cure for the widespread destruction of Fisheries

US Commission on Fish and Fisheries

Established to investigate nationwide declines in commercial fisheries

Primary focus was on the culture and distribution of fish throughout the US.

1800 s and the industrial revolution4
1800’s and the Industrial Revolution

Resulted in an orgy of species introductions across North America

  • Rainbow Trout (Pacific Slope to Nationwide)
  • Striped Bass (Atlantic Slope to Nationwide)
  • Chinook and Sockeye Salmon (Pacific to Great Lakes)
  • Brown Trout (Europe to North America)
  • Brook Trout (Appalachians and upper Midwest to Western US)
  • Largemouth Bass (Atlantic Slope and Mississippi Basin to Western US)
early 1900 s
Early 1900’s
  • Ecological Nightmare in North America (continental deforestation and heavy overfishing).
  • Realization that Natural Resources could not be managed as Common Property.
  • Rise of a Conservation Ethic
early 1900 s1
Early 1900’s
  • 1908 Governor’s Conference

meeting with President T. Roosevelt to discuss issues of Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Gifford Pinchot (first chief of the USFS)
early 1900 s2
Early 1900’s
  • Wise Use Paradigm

Natural resources should be managed for long-term value. The role of the resource manager is to conserve the capacity of natural resources to produce human value indefinitely.

ANTHROPOCENTRIC CONSERVATION ETHIC

mid 1900 s
Mid 1900’s
  • Rise of Quantitative Ecology and Population Dynamics Theory
  • Filtered over into Fisheries Management
mid 1900 s1
Mid 1900’s

Maximum Sustainable Yield

Maximum harvest level that a population can afford based on the natural dynamics of the population.

Conservationist and Anthropocentric

mid 1900 s2
Mid 1900’s

Maximum Sustainable Yield

Assumptions

  • In absence of harvest, populations grow to an equilibrium population size.
  • Fish populations exhibit high natural mortality rates, especially at high densities.
  • If populations are below carrying capacity, then density-dependent mortality decreases, leading to an increase in population growth rates.
  • Therefore, a certain amount of the population can be harvested without affecting the population over a long term.
mid 1900 s3
Mid 1900’s

Maximum Sustainable Yield

Benefits

  • Gave a focused objective to fisheries management.
  • Based on cutting edge ecological theory.
  • Led to a new field of “Fisheries Science”
mid 1900 s4
Mid 1900’s

Maximum Sustainable Yield

Fisheries Science

  • Extremely mathematical field devoted to applying MSY theory to real fisheries.
  • Development of “Stock Assessment” procedures.
  • Data Hungry
mid 1900 s5
Mid 1900’s

Maximum Sustainable Yield

SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT? ….

TOO BAD IT DOESN’T WORK

mid 1900 s6
Mid 1900’s

Spectacular Failures of MSY

  • Peruvian Anchovy (Engraulis ringens)
  • Norwegian Herring (Clupea)
  • North Atlantic Cod
mid 1900 s8
Mid 1900’s

Lessons to be Learned about MSY

  • Recruitment and natural mortality in fish populations are extremely variable and are characterized by occasional recruitment failures (“year class phenomenon”).
  • MSY assumes that environmental factors do not influence recruitment and survival, only density affects these population attributes.
  • MSY requires fast action. Managers must be able to reduce fishing pressure immediately.
late 1900 s and early 2000 s
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s
  • Rise of Ecosystem Management
  • Based on Leopold’s “Land Ethic” instead of the “Wise Use” ethic of Pinchot
late 1900 s and early 2000 s1
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s

2 Principles of Leopold’s Ethic

  • Humanity is best served by preserving natural life support systems.
  • Indigenous ecological systems have intrinsic value that should be respected.

ANTHROPOCENTRIC and INTRINSIC ETHIC

late 1900 s and early 2000 s2
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s

Modern Fisheries Management as Ecosystem Management

Olver et al. 1995

“The objective of modern fisheries management should be the protection, maintenance, and rehabilitation of native biota, their habitats, and life-support systems to ensure ecosystem sustainability.”

late 1900 s and early 2000 s3
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s

Modern Fisheries Management as Ecosystem Management

(Olver et al. 1995)

Fundamental Principle

Aquatic ecosystems should be managed to ensure the long-term sustainability of native fish stocks

late 1900 s and early 2000 s4
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s

Modern Fisheries Management as Ecosystem Management

(Olver et al. 1995)

Principles of Ecosystem Protection

  • The sustainability of fish stocks requires protection of the specific physical and chemical habitat utilized by members of that stock.
  • The sustainability of a fish stock requires the maintenance of its supporting native community.
late 1900 s and early 2000 s5
Late 1900’s and Early 2000’s

Modern Fisheries Management as Ecosystem Management

(Olver et al. 1995)

Principles of Population Utilization

  • Vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species must be rigidly protected from all anthropogenic stresses.
  • Exploitation of populations undergoing rehabilitation will delay, and may preclude full rehabilitation.
  • Harvest must not exceed the regeneration rate of a population (MSY).
  • Direct exploitation of spawning aggregations increases the risk to sustainability.