Identifying pelagic ecosystem indicators for management

Verena Trenkel, Niels Hintzen, Anna Rindorf, Samuel Shephard, Christian Olesen, Keith Farnsworth, Mark Dickey-Collas, David Reid

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


When exploiting fish populations under the ecosystem approach, aiming for MSY is not necessarily sufficient to ensure wider ecosystem sustainability. All of the large stocks of pelagic fish are managed through harvest control rules based on an MSY approach. Ensuring good environmental status will probably require further constraints to be imposed by management. Most of the current paradigm with regards to GES for fisheries has been based on demersal fish. Pelagic fisheries and fish are operationally and biologically respectively different. We use the example of applying the ecosystem approach to pelagic fisheries to further explore the setting of management objectives. The objectives were identified through a participatory process including industry, management, scientist and NGO representatives. These objectives were used to identify appropriate driver, pressure and state indicators. The links between objectives and indicators were explored for a range of examples highlighting the importance of the biology and the interaction between the pelagic ecosystem and humans. Considering MSY targets alone will not fulfil GES objectives with regards to e.g. genetic, phenotypic, and behavioural dimensions. The MSY approach also does not consider specifically habitat and bycatch concerns
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this

Trenkel, V., Hintzen, N., Rindorf, A., Shephard, S., Olesen, C., Farnsworth, K., Dickey-Collas, M., & Reid, D. (2013). Identifying pelagic ecosystem indicators for management.