In Recognition of Inevitable Uncertainties: From Fisheries Management to Managing Marine Resources

Piers Larcombe, David J. Morris, Carl M. O'Brien

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


It is well acknowledged that, to incorporate appropriate levels of risk, fisheries management needs to take account of external uncertainties. With the requirement now for ecosystem-based science and advice, there is a need to integrate fisheries and environmental sciences under a common theme, which we introduce here as eco-fisheries management. Our approach seeks to coordinate the assessment of oceanographic climate and fisheries with the monitoring of environmental and ecological quality as well as nature conservation status. From a fisheries viewpoint, this can be seen broadly as an extension of the conventional principles for sustainable fisheries development to cover the ecosystem as a whole, i.e. all marine resources. New scientific challenges are emerging, including: (i) answering the key question of what are we are managing towards; (ii) how the resulting necessary integration will look; (iii) delivering effective mechanisms for assessing cumulative and incombination effects, including designing effective indicators; and (iv) how to incorporate uncertainty into marine resource management, including that deriving from intrinsic (e.g. recruitment) and extrinsic (e.g. climate variability) factors. There is a need to incorporate factors such as socio-economic issues, social sciences, and the fundamental sciences of marine chemistry and physics into management advice. The broad motto here might be "if it helps, then let's use it", with an emphasis on active inclusion rather than passive exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Fisheries Science
Subtitle of host publication50 years on from Beverton and Holt
Number of pages43
ISBN (Print)1405170832, 9781405170833
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


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