Ecosystems at Risk: The Contribution of Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries to Identify Problems and Evaluate Potential Solutions Public Deposited

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  • The wide expanse of the sea, the inter-linkages among, and the productivity of its resources have until recently led most researchers to consider it unrealistic that humans could have more than local impact on marine ecosystems and their biodiversity. This perception is changing, however, as more evidence of the scale of impact becomes available. An enabling factor for this has been a change in focus from local-level studies to increased emphasis on meta-analysis of global or regional-level analysis of fisheries impact. Results include that the world’s total fish catches are no longer increasing, but rather have been decreasing over the last decade or more; that larger, predatory fishes (table fish) are becoming increasingly scarcer; and that we are appropriating the ocean shelves’ primary productivity to the same level as we are for terrestrial ecosystems. Ecosystems are being eroded in countries throughout the world, and though one might get the impression from the IUCN Red List that it is mainly a developed-country problem, it is alarming that the impact of severe overfishing may be at an even larger scale for developing countries. We describe aspects of the risks overfishing poses to marine ecosystems, and point out how ecosystem approaches to fisheries can be used to evaluate the potential impact of alternative fishing policy scenarios.
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  • Christensen, Villy, Maria Concepcion Villanueva and Karl A. Aiken. 2006. Ecosystems at Risk: The Contribution of Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries to Identify Problems and Evaluate Potential Solutions. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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