The Dynamics of Social Values and Fish Culture

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 1:40 PM
Marriott Ballroom A (The Marriott Little Rock)
Christine M. Moffitt , US Geological Survey Idaho Coop Fish and Wild Research Unit, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
The applications of hatchery or aquaculture produced fish in fisheries management have a long history in human culture. This symposium helps us to reflect and re-assess the direction and consequences of our actions. The American Fisheries Society began as the Fish Culturists Association in 1870. Fish culturists are highly innovative and have utilized a variety of setting to increase the abundance of one species by reducing the natural mortality through intervening within the life history. In other cases, completely new fish communities have been established with non native species. Social values that are reflected in management actions have evolved, as culture reassessed the appropriate use and consequences of these propagation choices.  American shad were widely introduced into waters of North American in the 1800s, and some populations became established in the large rivers of the Pacific coast.  Angler groups intent on fishing for black bass have motivated resource agencies to introduce them into waters outside the historic range.  German carp were celebrated as a great food source that would enhance waters across North America. What have been the consequences of these introductions? More recently conservation agencies and Tribes are using innovative tools in fish culture to restore endangered and threatened species. Our efforts in the future must include careful estimation of the true costs, benefits, and consequences of management actions. Superimposed on our understanding of the biology and sustainability of our choices are our dynamic social culture and its values regarding appropriate use, and conflicts for future allocations of water and economic resources. Using recommendations from previous symposia, and topics addressed in this symposium I propose a framework that could be helpful in facing future management choices.