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An Initial Illustrative Example of the Application of MSE to Gulf Menhaden to Address Issues related to MSC Certification of Ecosystem-related Reference Points

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posted on 25.03.2021, 09:37 by Doug ButterworthDoug Butterworth, Rebecca A Rademeyer
An illustration of the use of an MSE process to assist and decide on a future management approach of the Gulf Menhaden fishery is set out. The intent is for such an approach to provide a very low probability that menhaden abundance would fall below its historically lowest level, which should safeguard against adverse ecosystem impacts arising from the fishery. MSC certification will also require adoption of some management rule that does ensure that catches are reduced in response if the resource abundance drops too low. Under the BAM Base assessment model and maintenance of landings levels in the range that has occurred since 2000, it seems that no further regulations are necessary. However, the possibility of other dynamics (e.g. a period of poor recruitment) needs to be taken into account, and it is shown that in these circumstances application of a simple rule to control catches would result in abundance not falling as low as would otherwise be the case. Issues that would need to be considered in taking this approach further are discussed.

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Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town