Balancing Conservation and Utilization to Sustain Fisheries

The challenge of managing fisheries is achieving sustainability, not only ecologically, but also economically and socially.  Striking a balance among these components of sustainability is even more difficult given ever changing environmental conditions and evolving societal preferences.  While fisheries management in North America has been generally effective for avoiding overfishing and has had some successes in rebuilding fisheries there is still debate over conservation and utilization of fishery resources.  The demand for seafood in North America has increased, but most seafood products are currently imported, largely as a result of restrictions to North American domestic fisheries.  In addition, recreational fishing is a booming industry that needs to be managed in coordination with commercial fisheries, but usually with different objectives and approaches. As human populations continue to increase, particularly in coastal communities, working waterfronts are being out-competed, and some fishing grounds are threatened by other human uses.  To address the tradeoffs between conservation and utilization, ecosystem approaches to fisheries management are being developed.  The goal of this symposium is to present on the following themes: (1) Current state of fisheries resources in AFS regions and around the world; (2) Changing perspectives on utilization of wild fishery resources; (3) Food production vs. environmental conservation; (4) Economic viability of fishing industries vs. overfishing; (5) How to balance natural resource utilization with natural resource conservation; (6)Tradeoffs to conservation or resource utilization (single species management, marine mammals, top predators, trophic impacts); and, (7) Historic and future perspectives: where have we been, where are we going?
Catherine E. O'Keefe
Steven X. Cadrin and Sean M. Lucey
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