The MSY concept in a multi-objective fisheries environment - Lessons from the North Sea

Title: The MSY concept in a multi-objective fisheries environment - Lessons from the North Sea
Authors: Kempf, A
Mumford, J
Levontin, P
Leach, A
Hoff, A
Hamon, KG
Bartelings, H
Vinther, M
Staebler, M
Poos, JJ
Smout, S
Frost, H
Van den Burg, S
Ulrich, C
Rindorf, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: One of the most important goals in current fisheries management is to maintain or restore stocks above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). However, it may not be feasible to achieve MSY simultaneously for multiple species because of trade-offs that result from interactions between species, mixed fisheries and the multiple objectives of stakeholders. The premise in this study is that MSY is a concept that needs adaptation, not wholesale replacement. The approach chosen to identify trade-offs and stakeholder preferences involved a process of consulting and discussing options with stakeholders as well as scenario modelling with bio-economic and multi-species models. It is difficult to intuitively anticipate the consequences of complex trade-offs and it is also complicated to address them from a political point of view. However, scenario modelling showed that the current approach of treating each stock separately and ignoring trade-offs may result in unacceptable ecosystem, economic or social effects in North Sea fisheries. Setting FMSY as a management target without any flexibility for compromises may lead to disappointment for some of the stakeholders. To treat FMSY no longer as a point estimate but rather as a “Pretty Good Yield” within sustainable ranges was seen as a promising way forward to avoid unacceptable outcomes when trying to fish all stocks simultaneously at FMSY. This study gives insights on how inclusive governance can help to reach consensus in difficult political processes, and how science can be used to make informed decisions inside a multi-dimensional trade-off space.
Issue Date: 26-Apr-2016
Date of Acceptance: 8-Apr-2016
ISSN: 1872-9460
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 146
End Page: 158
Journal / Book Title: Marine Policy
Volume: 69
Copyright Statement: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Funder's Grant Number: 289257
Keywords: Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Studies
International Relations
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Mixed fisheries
Multi species
North Sea
0502 Environmental Science And Management
1606 Political Science
1801 Law
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Grantham Institute for Climate Change
Faculty of Natural Sciences