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Marine ecosystem assessment in a fisheries management context
Link, J.S.; Brodziak, J.K.T.; Edwards, S.F.; Overholtz, W.J.; Mountain, D.; Jossi, J.W.; Smith, T.D.; Fogarty, M.J. (2002). Marine ecosystem assessment in a fisheries management context. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 59(9): 1429-1440
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Ecosystems; Fishery management; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Link, J.S., correspondent
  • Brodziak, J.K.T.
  • Edwards, S.F.
  • Overholtz, W.J.
  • Mountain, D.
  • Jossi, J.W.
  • Smith, T.D.
  • Fogarty, M.J.

    We examined a suite of abiotic, biotic, and human metrics for the northeast U.S. continental shelf ecosystem at the aggregate, community, and system level (>30 different metrics) over three decades. Our primary goals were to describe ecosystem status, to improve understanding of the relationships between key ecosystem processes, and to evaluate potential reference points for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). To this end, empirical indicators of ecosystem status were examined and standard multivariate statistical methods were applied to describe changes in the system. We found that (i) a suite of metrics is required to accurately characterize ecosystem status and, conversely, that focusing on a few metrics may be misleading; (ii) assessment of ecosystem status is feasible for marine ecosystems; (iii) multivariate points of reference can be determined for EBFM; and (iv) the concept of reference directions could provide an ecosystem level analog to single-species reference points.

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