How Will Invasive Species Impact the Future of Fisheries?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 2:50 PM
204B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Andrew Drake , Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada
Nicholas Mandrak , Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada
To highlight some ecological and socioeconomic factors about fish invasions, we describe a recent invasion whose uncertain outcomes, winners, and losers are common across North America. Due to ecological stochasticity and varied resource use by stakeholders, invasions transform fisheries with changes that are rarely uniform; therefore, failing to prevent invasions is a risky game of chance for ecosystems and the fisheries they support. However, given varying viewpoints among stakeholders, generating public consensus about invasion management is an extremely difficult task. Fisheries professionals must clearly document ecological and socioeconomic rates of change imposed by invasions, while embracing dialogue with stakeholders that incorporates uncertainty, such as with ‘game of chance’ terminology. Collectively, these actions can generate consensus about the importance of prevention management once these species and their mechanisms of change hold widespread public opinion. Public consensus, in-turn, can support legislative management frameworks, such as the Aquatic Invasive Species Annex of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Invasive species risk assessment, which quantifies the likelihood of invasion and associated mechanisms of ecological and socioeconomic change, allows for proactive dialogue with stakeholders about uncertain outcomes and is a core element of successful fisheries science and management.