Sustainable Fisheries

With respect to exploitation of seafood resources, the concept of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) is used to set targets for fisheries management in international agreements (e.g. Johannesburg Summit 2002). In the presence of multispecies interaction and age structure of fish stocks, operational definitions of MSY do not yet exist. A further challenge for fisheries management is the strong genetic selection gradient on the exploited fish populations. 

Key issues are therefore the development of operational management rules taking into account multi-species interaction, age structure of fish stock, migration and other spatial aspects, and global ocean as well as ecosystem change. We will explore the impact of fisheries on genetic composition and in turn develop management rules that take into account such impacts. Finally we will develop new instruments to govern the transition from a currently overfished state to sustainable and economically efficient fisheries. Methodologically we will develop theoretical and numerical models that take into account genetic and trait variability as well as environmental and demographic volatility. Spatially explicit models based on partial differential equations (PDEs) will be developed and employed to conceive new instruments of governing fisheries, based on approaches such as territorial use rights. Model solutions will employ advanced methods of dynamic stochastic optimization and optimization with PDEs. In order to study the efficiency of incentives of regulation, such as the trading of individually tradable quotas and other measures, such as exclusive fishing zones, economic experiments with stakeholders, will be conducted.

Objectives

  • development of operational management rules taking into account multi-species interaction, age structure of fish stock, migration and other spatial aspects, and global ocean as well as ecosystem change
  • explore the impact of fisheries on genetic composition
  • develop new instruments to govern the transition from a currently overfished state to sustainable and economically efficient fisheries

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