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Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation$
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John N. Kittinger, Loren McClenachan, Keryn B. Gedan, and Louise K. Blight

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276949

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276949.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Improving Fisheries Assessments Using Historical Data

Improving Fisheries Assessments Using Historical Data

Stock Status and Catch Limits

(p.91) Five Improving Fisheries Assessments Using Historical Data
Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation

Alan M. Friedlander

Joshua Nowlis

Haruko Koike

University of California Press

The health of fisheries is difficult to assess, because catches are only partially recorded and abundance cannot be directly observed. Understanding the status of fisheries requires an estimate of what they are capable of producing in the absence of fishing, yet data rarely extends back to pre-exploitation states. Without catch and abundance estimates across a range of fish densities, it is difficult to estimate the capacity of a fishery. Historical data (historical, archaeological, and geological records; ecological reconstructions; local and traditional ecological knowledge) provide that information. These data can help managers avoid “shifting baseline syndrome,” in which stock-rebuilding programs are influenced by the most recent peak in productivity. Such approaches can also help small fisheries, where standard assessments and assumptions aren't applicable and where historically based analyses can provide scientific advice to guide management. This chapter, by Alan M. Friedlander, Joshua Sladek Nowlis, and Haruko Koike, shows how historical data can inform fishery assessment, using case studies from small tropical fisheries, which present complex challenges due to the number of species exploited, the variety of gear employed, and the diffuse nature of fishing locations and landing sites. Communities worldwide are combining historical data and local knowledge to manage fisheries. By incorporating these data, we bring insight into the past yield of these ecosystems and provide guidance for future management.

Keywords:   fisheries, historical ecology, stock assessment, traditional ecological knowledge, fisheries management

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