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A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

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  1. A BRIEF HISTORY OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT Introduction to Fisheries Management WMAN 445 August 24, 2006

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Colonial America(1600’s-1700’s) General Rule of Colonial Era: Resources are limitless, but if that proves to be untrue…then move West!

  10. 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution • Alteration of Rivers for Navigation • Explosion of the Human Population (mostly immigration) • Industrial Revolution

  11. C&O Canal

  12. 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution • Commercial Fishing increased exponentially • Canning and refrigeration • Railroad • Large Scale Timbering

  13. 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!)

  14. 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)

  15. Salmon Fishing (Late 1800’s)

  16. Grist Mill Dam

  17. Whaling Vessel

  18. Spruce Forests of WVCirca 1850

  19. Moving Trees prior to Railroad

  20. Moving Trees prior to Railroad Greenbrier River Monongahela River

  21. Logging and the Geared Locomotive

  22. Logging and the Geared Locomotive Blackwater Falls

  23. 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)

  24. 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.

  25. 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)

  26. 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

  27. 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)

  28. 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

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

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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”

  33. 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

  34. Mid 1900’s Maximum Sustainable Yield SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT? …. TOO BAD IT DOESN’T WORK

  35. Mid 1900’s Spectacular Failures of MSY • Peruvian Anchovy (Engraulis ringens) • Norwegian Herring (Clupea) • North Atlantic Cod

  36. Mid 1900’s

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. 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.”

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.