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CABI Book Chapter

The ecosystem approach to fisheries.

Book cover for The ecosystem approach to fisheries.


This book presents edited contributions to the Conference on Implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Governments of Iceland and Norway, with technical support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, held in Bergen, Norway from 26 to 28 September 2006. Considered as a follow-up to the 2001 Conference on Res...

Chapter 19 (Page no: 309)

Are the Lake Victoria fisheries threatened by exploitation or eutrophication? Towards an ecosystem-based approach to management.

Lake Victoria's ecosystem has shown fundamental changes over its past recorded history in terms of nutrient loadings, productivity, faunal composition and fisheries. As yet, however, no attempt has been made to link the driving processes of eutrophication and fisheries to understand the feedback observed in fish stocks, food webs, exploitation patterns and trade. Single-and multi-species stock assessments, based on steady-state models with effort (and/or predation) as the only driver-still used in the region to advise on management-uniformly indicate overfished stocks of Nile perch that are in danger of collapse. These current views of overfishing are not validated by empirical observations. This chapter presents a holistic integrated ecosystem approach which combines a phenomenological analysis of key processes with a comprehensive set of simple indicators, covering physical, biological and human development, where directionality in time is made explicit to understand ongoing processes in the changing ecosystem. This new approach results in: (i) no signs of overfishing in any of the verifiable indicators; and (ii) biological production increasing over time together with effort and yield as a function of increased eutrophication. The results indicate that continued eutrophication presents a much graver risk to the resource base and thus livelihoods of Lake Victoria's coastal populations than fishing pressure. Lake Victoria can serve as an interesting case study for the inherent risk of using traditional fish stock assessment in changing ecosystems, and for the development of holistic monitoring systems for ecosystem-based management.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) The Bergen Conference on implementing the ecosystem approach to fisheries (Bergen, Norway, 26-28 September 2006): summary and main conclusions. Author(s): Bianchi, G. Sandberg, P. Skjoldal, H. R. Thórarinsson, K.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 20) The concept of the ecosystem approach to fisheries in FAO. Author(s): Bianchi, G.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 39) The ecosystem approach of the convention on biological diversity. Author(s): Vierros, M.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 47) The large marine ecosystem approach to marine resources assessment and management. Author(s): Sherman, K.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 76) Ecosystem-based management of marine capture fisheries: not a theoretical concept but useful operational reality! Author(s): Short, K. Graham, A. Grieve, C.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 86) The human side of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management: preliminary results of an FAO Expert Consultation. Author(s): Young, C. de
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 95) Research requirements of an ecosystem approach to fisheries. Author(s): O'Boyle, R. Sinclair, M. Worcester, T.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 112) Implementing an ecosystem approach to fisheries management: lessons learned from applying a practical EAFM framework in Australia and the Pacific. Author(s): Fletcher, W. J.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 125) Benefits and costs of implementing the ecosystem approach to fisheries. Author(s): Charles, A. Young, C. de
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 138) Creating incentives for the ecosystem approach to fisheries management: a portfolio of approaches. Author(s): Young, C. de Charles, A.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 158) Fisheries assessment and decision making: towards an integrated advisory process. Author(s): Garcia, S. M.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 197) The ecosystem approach to fisheries management: an industry perspective. Author(s): Valdimarsson, G.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 209) Ecosystem approach to management: definitions, principles and experiences from implementation in the North Sea. Author(s): Skjoldal, H. R. Misund, O. A.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 228) Management plan for the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea ecosystem. Author(s): Winsnes, I. Skjoldal, H. R.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 247) Ecosystem-based fisheries management in Iceland: implementation and some practical considerations. Author(s): Sígurjónsson, J.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 262) The implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management in the Benguela Region: experiences, advances and problems. Author(s): Cochrane, K. L. Augustyn, C. J. O'Toole, M. J.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 293) Implementing the ecosystem approach in Australian Commonwealth (federally) - managed fisheries. Author(s): McLoughlin, R. Rayns, N. Smith, A. D. M. Johnson, D. Hobday, A. Smith, T.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 301) The ecosystem approach to fisheries management in the USA. Author(s): Tromble, G. R.