Oh What a Tangled Web: Ecosystem-Based Management
Part B: Fisheries Management Challenge
EBM is a particularly promising approach for the improvement of commercial fisheries management. A more thorough understanding of the complexities of the ecosystem in which exploited or depleted fish species live, can help researchers better predict the effects of the ecosystem on fishing and the effects of fishing on the ecosystem. When managing a commercial fishery, ecosystem complexities are compounded by economic complexities and the need to sustain a profitable business as well as a healthy ecosystem.
Play the Great Australian Fisheries Challenge game in which you act as a fisheries manager with the responsibility of making the best choices for the health and sustainability of three fisheries.
- If you come across any unfamiliar vocabulary words while playing the game, click on the "Dictionary" button at the top of the page to find their definitions.
Answer the following questions to check your understanding of information presented in the Great Australian Fisheries Challenge game.
- What three factors are monitored to determine the overall health and sustainability of each fishery? Ecosystem, money, and fish stocks.
- What is by-catch? In the broadest sense, by-catch includes all living and non-living material (except for the target species) which is caught while fishing, including by-product, discards, and that part of the catch which doesn't reach the deck but is affected by interactions with the fishing gear.
- Give one example of how the choice of fishing gear can contribute to the degradation of healthy marine ecosystems, and one example of how the choice of fishing gear can help improve the health of stressed ecosystems.
Stop and Think
1: Explain why EBM is a more effective fisheries management approach than single species management. Provide specific examples from the game.
2: How do you think EBM of fisheries can help limit marine biodiversity loss?