Journal Article

The role of gear technologists in supporting an ecosystem approach to fisheries

Simon Jennings and Andrew S. Revill

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 8, pages 1525-1534
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online July 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm104
The role of gear technologists in supporting an ecosystem approach to fisheries

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Jennings, S., and Revill, A. S. 2007. The role of gear technologists in supporting an ecosystem approach to fisheries. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 1525–1534.

Central to an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) is reconciling the short-term need for catches with the long-term need for sustainability of target species and other ecosystem components. We assess the role of gear technology in supporting the objectives and implementation of EAF and identify the circumstances in which investment in the environmental performance of fishing gear provides the greatest benefits. The greatest benefits are usually achieved when gear technologists embed the new technology in the management system and when there are clear incentives to use it. We propose a framework for comparing combinations of management measures that might support EAF, based on knowledge of the environmental impacts of different gears in different areas and management systems. This framework helps us assess when fishing effects “matter” and when gear technologists should contribute to mitigating unwanted effects. Incentives and effective enforcement will be key to introducing gears with lower environmental impact. We expect that future emphasis on marine spatial planning, the use of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment for fisheries, more equitable treatment of fisheries and other marine sectors, and rising oil prices will lead to greater pressure on gear technologists to support EAF.

Keywords: conservation; ecosystem approach to fisheries; gear technology; technical measures

Journal Article.  8990 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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