Using Ecosystem-Based Management as an Adaptation Strategy in the Pacific Fishery Management CouncilBy:
April 29, 2010
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.
Project Summary / Overview
The Pacific Fishery Management Council is just beginning to look into the impacts of climate change on fisheries management through an ecosystem fishery management plan. Among other things, this plan will consider impacts of climate change on fisheries.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has four fishery management plans (FMPs) for groundfish (e.g., rockfish, flatfish, roundfish, sharks and skates); salmon (e.g., Chinook and coho); highly migratory species (e.g., tunas, sharks, swordfish, mahi mahi); and coastal pelagic species (e.g., anchovy, market squid, Pacific sardine, Pacific and jack mackerel, krill). Climate change is considered as an ancillary element to these FMPs; although it is not clearly distinguished as a specific threat to fish stocks, the Council's efforts reduce fishing as a stressor on the marine ecosystem. For the past few years, the Council has been in the process of developing an ecosystem-based approach to managing fish stocks in the offshore waters of Washington, Oregon, and California. Ecosystem-based management as defined by the Council “recognizes the physical, biological, economic, and social interactions among the affected components of the ecosystem and attempts to manage fisheries to achieve a stipulated spectrum of societal goals, some of which may be in competition.” An Ecosystem Fishery Management Plan (EFMP), therefore, would consider species interactions (i.e. predator-prey food web dynamics), habitat, fishing effects on stocks and habitat quality, elements of uncertainty and utilizing precaution where possible, and the effects of other stressors, including climate change, on fish biology and ecology. Developing an EFMP would allow the Council to consider various natural and anthropogenic elements that may affect conservation and fishery productivity.
The Council first voted to create an EFMP in November 2006. Development was delayed until funding could be obtained; by 2009, the Council had financial support from NOAA to create a plan that would supplement the four existing FMPs, “[help] with coast-wide research planning and policy guidance, and [create] a framework for status reports on the health of West Coast ecosystems” (PFMC EBM Overview). The Council has created two groups: the Ecosystem Plan Development Team (EPDT) and the Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel (EAS). The EPDT is composed of 13 members, including policy analysts and scientists from state, federal, and tribal governments. The EAS is composed of 11 members, representing industry, policy, and conservation interests from the states and tribes. The EPDT and EAS have been charged with developing goals and objectives for the EFMP. Their specific tasks over the next year or two are to collate state of the science information on ecosystem-based management, review existing FMPs for examples of ecosystem-based management, find tools that can be used in the development of the EFMP, and review other ecosystem-based management efforts from the other Fishery Management Councils. The draft EFMP and an environmental assessment will be designed to be iterative to adjust as better scientific information becomes available and will be developed for formal public review within a few years.
Project Outcomes and Conclusions
The EPDT and EAS held their first meeting in February 2010 in Portland, Oregon. The EFMP is in the beginning stages and will likely take a couple of years to develop and implement. It will be used as a strategic planning document to introduce elements of ecosystem-based management to the Council’s program and plans incrementally.
Gregg, R. M. (2010). Using Ecosystem-Based Management as an Adaptation Strategy in the Pacific Fishery Management Council [Case study on a project of the Pacific Fishery Management Council]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/1075 (Last updated April 2010)