J. S. Link, R. A. Watson, (2019). Science Advances 5, eaav0474.
ecological indicators, ecosystem, overfishing
The well-documented value of marine fisheries is threatened by overfishing. Management typically focuses on target populations but lacks effective tools to document or restrain overexploitation of marine ecosystems. Here, we present three indices and accompanying thresholds to detect and delineate ecosystem overfishing (EOF): the Fogarty, Friedland, and Ryther indices. These are based on widely available and readily interpreted catch and satellite data that link fisheries landings to primary production using known limits of trophic transfer efficiency. We propose theoretically and empirically based thresholds for each of those indices; with these criteria, several ecosystems are fished sustainably, but nearly 40 to 50% of tropical and temperate ecosystems exceed even extreme thresholds. Applying these criteria to global fisheries data results in strong evidence for two specific instances of EOF, increases in both pressure on tropical fish and a climate-mediated polar shift. Here, we show that these two patterns represent evidence for global EOF.
S. C. Anderson, J. M. Flemming, R. Watson, H. K. Lotze, (2011). PloS one 6, e14735. Continue reading →
K. Flower, A. Rodrigues, A. Balmford, R. Watson, (2008). “Marine Fisheries,” The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Scoping the Science (European Commission, Cambridge, UK Continue reading →
M. Vasconcellos, R. Watson, (2004). “Mass Balance of Atlantic Oceanic Systems,” Fisheries Centre Research Reports No. 12 (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Continue reading →
W. L. Cheung, R. Watson, T. J. Pitcher, (2002). “Policy Simulation of Fisheries in the Hong Kong Marine Ecosystem.,” Fisheries Centre Research Reports No. 10 (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Continue reading →
T. J. Pitcher, R. Watson, N. Haggan, S. Guénette, R. Kennish, U. R. Sumaila, D. Cook, K. Wilson, A. Leung, (2000). Bulletin of Marine Science 66, 543-566. Continue reading →
D. Pauly, V. Christensen, R. Froese, A. Longhurst, T. Platt, S. Sathyendranath, K. Sherman, R. Watson, (2000). “Mapping Fisheries onto Marine Ecosystems: A Proposal for a Consensus Approach for Regional, Oceanic and Global Integrations,” Fisheries Centre Research Reports No. 8 (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Continue reading →