Journal Article

Application of the precautionary approach and conservation reference points to management of Atlantic seals

M. O. Hammill and G. B. Stenson

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 4, pages 702-706
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm037
Application of the precautionary approach and conservation reference points to management of Atlantic seals

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Hammill, M. O., and Stenson, G. B. 2007. Application of the precautionary approach and conservation reference points to management of Atlantic seals. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 702–706.

Resource management requires a trade-off between conservation, economic, and political concerns in establishing harvest levels. The precautionary approach (PA) brings scientists, resource managers, and stakeholders together to identify clear management objectives and to agree on population benchmarks that would initiate certain management actions when those benchmarks are exceeded. A conceptual framework for applying the PA to marine mammals is outlined. For a data-rich species, precautionary and conservation reference levels are proposed. When a population falls below the precautionary reference level, increasingly risk-averse conservation measures are applied. A more conservative, risk-averse approach is required for managing data-poor species. The framework has been implemented for the management of commercial seal harvests in Atlantic Canada.

Keywords: conservation; harp seal; hooded seal; management; precautionary approach; reference points

Journal Article.  2761 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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