Trade-offs of fisheries management based on FMSY targets

‘Maximum Sustainable Yield’ (MSY) is gradually becoming the basis of fisheries management throughout Europe. This study aims at unravelling some of the ecological processes affecting MSY estimates and MSY fisheries management.

The trade-offs in fisheries management aiming for FMSY (the fish mortality rate that would, in theory, give the MSY from a particular stock year after year)  that result from the ecosystem complexities need to be assessed. These trade-offs are a result of the spatial distributions of target species, incidental by-catch, the North Sea habitats, and fishery itself. The results of this project can be used in the discussion about appropriate MSY targets.

This project links the different existing models and derives a full ecosystem model, including the dynamics of the largest source of mortality for most species: fishery. In order to exhibit the trade-offs in fisheries management aiming for FMSY that result from the ecosystem complexities, we need to account for the spatial dimension of the target species, the North Sea habitats, and fishery.

The spatial dynamics of fish and fishery under fisheries management constraints will result in emergent exploitation patterns. These patterns not only shape the ecological effects of fishing, but also the evolutionary effects of fishing. The results of different management measures in relation to MSY management will be discussed in this project.