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Ecological and economic trade-offs in the management of mixed fisheries: a case study of spawning closures in flatfish fisheries
Rijnsdorp, A.D.; van Overzee, H.M.J.; Poos, J.-J. (2012). Ecological and economic trade-offs in the management of mixed fisheries: a case study of spawning closures in flatfish fisheries. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 447: 179-194. dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps09519
In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0171-8630, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Bottom trawling; Impacts; Indicators; Marine
Author keywords
    Good environmental status

Authors  Top 
  • Rijnsdorp, A.D., more
  • van Overzee, H.M.J., more
  • Poos, J.-J., more

Abstract
    As a contribution to the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, we estimated the effects of spawning closures on stock status, ecosystem impacts and economic performance. We focused on the flatfish fishery in the North Sea and explored how spawning closures for plaice and sole contribute to sustainable management of 4 target species (sole, plaice, turbot and brill). Seasonal patterns in fishing effort and catchability by age group and area were estimated to quantify the effect of different spawning closure scenarios on the selection pattern. The scenario performance was evaluated using indicators of stock status (spawning stock biomass), economic performance of the fishery (yield, revenue) and ecosystem impact (discards, bycatch of cod and rays, seabed integrity, fisheries-induced evolution). In a single-species context, spawning closures may be beneficial for the target species, while in a mixed fisheries and ecosystem context, negative effects may occur. A spawning closure for plaice combines positive effects on the plaice stock and the revenue with reductions of the negative impact for several ecosystem indicators and only a small negative effect on sea bed integrity. The effects did not differ when evaluated at current levels of effort or at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) effort. Tailor-made solutions are required that need to be developed in stakeholder consultation to trade-off the ecological and economic objectives. Mixed-species MSY was lower than the sum of the single-species MSYs.

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