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Research Requirements of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries A Scotian Shelf Case Study Bob O'Boyle, Mike Sinclair & Tana Worcester Bedford Institute of.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Requirements of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries A Scotian Shelf Case Study Bob O'Boyle, Mike Sinclair & Tana Worcester Bedford Institute of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Requirements of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries A Scotian Shelf Case Study Bob O'Boyle, Mike Sinclair & Tana Worcester Bedford Institute of Oceanography Canada

2 Eastern Scotian Shelf Atlantic Canadian 'lab' since 1998

3 Approach  Types of Issues Impact of fishery on ecosystem Impact of fishery on ecosystem Impact of ecosystem on fishery Impact of ecosystem on fishery  Issues from number of sources, e.g. ESSIM Management Plan ESSIM Management Plan Ecosystem Status Report for ESSIM Area Ecosystem Status Report for ESSIM Area Paper prepared for SCOR 2004 Paris Symposium Paper prepared for SCOR 2004 Paris Symposium Scotia-Fundy Fishing Industry Roundtable Scotia-Fundy Fishing Industry Roundtable  Classified issues using Canada's nationally established conservation objectives Biodiversity Biodiversity Productivity Productivity Habitat Habitat Challenge of interpreting causality & cumulative effects

4 Approach (cont'd)  For each objective, management question posed & associated research identified  Assessed probability that research can resolve issue in years Is it tractable? Is it tractable?  Judged scope of research effort (who can do?) Institute (BIO & St. Andrew's Biological Station) Institute (BIO & St. Andrew's Biological Station) Atlantic Coast (Newfoundland Shelf to Gulf of Maine) Atlantic Coast (Newfoundland Shelf to Gulf of Maine) Global (International collaboration) Global (International collaboration)

5 Biodiversity Issues Ecosystem level Species level Population level

6 Can fisheries management & industry respond to large scale ecosystem changes?  Investigate biogeographic characteristics of fish/invertebrate communities & how these respond to circulation/mixing Revisit 1990s East Coast of North America Strategic Assessment Project (ECNASAP) Revisit 1990s East Coast of North America Strategic Assessment Project (ECNASAP) Tractability: High Scale: Coast

7 Species Scale Distributions Identified transitions in bottom communities consistent with circulation & mixing patterns Movement in transition zones in response to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Mahon et. al. 1998

8 Newfoundland Bottom Community Transition Zones When NAO Positive Tendency for Northern Transition Zone to move South & Southern Transition Zones to move North Are these patterns Predictable?

9  Survivorship of leatherback turtles released from large pelagic longlines  Juvenile mortality & location of porbeagle pupping grounds  Prediction of life history characteristics of data poor species Tractability: High Scale: Institute What can be done to recover species at risk ? Tractability: Medium Scale: Institute Tractability: Medium Scale: Coast

10 Issues with other species (e.g. Barndoor Skate) Survey CPUE How should species-at-risk be monitored?  Investigate whether bottom trawl surveys provide reliable indicators of abundance Cusk hard to sample but show dramatic decline in abundance; is this real or due to contraction to preferred habitat? Cusk hard to sample but show dramatic decline in abundance; is this real or due to contraction to preferred habitat? Tractability: Medium Scale: Coast

11 Do present management practices allow accurate discard & by-catch estimates?  Impact of discarding on non-commercial species  Estimation of discard & by-catch in ESS fisheries May 2006 workshop uncovered significant data issues May 2006 workshop uncovered significant data issues Tractability: Medium Scale: Institute Tractability: Low Scale: Institute Also Productivity Issue

12 Prior to 1984, ESS cod composed of spring & fall spawning components Determine if re-establishment of spring spawning component necessary for recovery? Similar questions for other species E.g. What is link between ESS and Bay of Fundy Herring? Should fisheries management be concerned about population substructure? Tractability: Low Scale: Institute

13 Productivity Issues Trophic Processes Population Processes

14  ESS ecosystem regulation bottom - up or top - down? bottom - up or top - down? Frank et al (2003) suggests top - down Frank et al (2003) suggests top - down What are management implications of systematic removal of large fish on ecosystem functioning? Tractability: Low Scale: Global

15 Similar pattern seen in other depleted finfish (e.g. wolffish & skate) Are these species in predator traps? Survey Z Tractability: Low Scale: Coast  Determine source & impact of high M on cod

16 Pups Recent evidence for drop in r Predicted Observed  Role of grey seals Determine what population processes (e.g., density - dependent) regulate seals Determine what population processes (e.g., density - dependent) regulate seals Roughly 700,000t of prey consumed each year compared to 6,000t 40 yr ago Tractability: Medium Scale: Coast

17  Investigate food requirements & consumption estimates of apex predators (seals, sea birds, etc) Tractability: Low Scale: Institute ESS Cod consumed using 3 different model assumptions

18 What is minimum Spawning Stock Biomass for Scotian Shelf stocks?  Determine long-term changes in SSB ESS Cod good example of Pauly's 'Shifting Baseline Syndrome' ESS Cod good example of Pauly's 'Shifting Baseline Syndrome' MSY Recent Assessments Tractability: Low Scale: Institute

19 Scotian Shelf NE Atlantic Weight (kg) at Age 7 Have current harvest practices caused growth reduction in gadoids?  Determine relative roles of environment & genetic selection on haddock growth Tractability: Low Scale: Institute

20 Habitat Issues Spatial processes Climate change impacts

21 Are fishery closures & gear restrictions adequate to protect benthic habitat?  Determine if benthic community spatial patterns can be predicted from geological, oceanographic & biological observations  Determine proportion of each benthic habitat type that needs to be protected Sensitivity of benthic communities Sensitivity of benthic communities Tractability: Medium Scale: Global

22 Influence of geology, oceanography & biology on life history traits

23  Determine relationship between size & location of protected areas & benthic community conservation Current Closures Biodiversity Fishery Tractability: Low Scale: Global

24  Mechanism whereby climate change influences ESS oceanography Impacts on benthic & pelagic habitat Impacts on benthic & pelagic habitat  Implications of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Can impacts of climate change on habitat be predicted? Tractability: Low Scale: Coast

25 Linkage of Scotian Shelf with larger North Atlantic atmospheric system Different response to NAO north & south of Halifax Periodic? Predictable? NAO Winter Anomaly bottom C 0 differences (neg - pos anomaly)

26 Prioritization  Needs to occur at scale of problem (BIO, Northwest Atlantic, International Community) Influenced by tractability Influenced by tractability  Tractability? Most low - medium Most low - medium All significant to EAF & will require longer term research All significant to EAF & will require longer term research

27 Emergent Research Issues requiring international collaboration  Link biodiversity to productivity & resilience  Ecosystem regulation (bottom - up & top - down)  Link between habitat type & sensitivity  Spatial scales of connectivity between benthic communities SCOR WG?

28 Thank You!

29 Outline  EAF - related issues specific to Eastern Scotian Shelf Will not discuss industry - industry issues Will not discuss industry - industry issues E.g. fisheries & petroleum conflictsE.g. fisheries & petroleum conflicts  Research priorities for EAF in this area for next years  Broader research implications of regional experience

30 DFOConservationObjectives Traditional Fisheries Management Intent is for Fisheries Management to address all objectives

31  Determine if snow crab & shrimp are sustainable populations or Gulf extension during cold conditions. Tractability: Low Scale: Institute Tractability: Low Scale: Institute  Determine what is controlling the invasion rate of Codium.

32 Barndoor Skate & Surveys Size is Important Trawl Survey Longline Survey Mature Skate Immature Skate ? Longline Survey samples all size groups Trawl Survey samples predominantly immature skate Monitoring species at risk requires consistent time series of Spawners

33 Does management need to consider impact of climate change?  Trends in fish recruitment in relation to climate change Link between timing of spring phytoplankton bloom & ESS haddock recruitment Link between timing of spring phytoplankton bloom & ESS haddock recruitment Tractability: Low Scale: Coast Also Productivity Issue

34  Are current seal consumption estimates accurate? Issues with stomach samples Issues with stomach samples Biased towards small prey?Biased towards small prey? Fishermen observe cod belly bitesFishermen observe cod belly bites Issues with fatty acid analysis Issues with fatty acid analysis Reproducible?Reproducible? Tractability: Medium Scale: Institute


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