The relationship between multi-species catch and effort: among fishery comparisons
Halls, A.S., Welcomme, R.L. and Burn, R.W. (2006) The relationship between multi-species catch and effort: among fishery comparisons. Fisheries Research, 77 (1). pp. 78-83. ISSN 0165-7836
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2005.08.005
The control of fishing mortality via fishing effort remains fundamental to most fisheries management strategies even at the local community or co-management level. Decisions to support such strategies require knowledge of the underlying response of the catch to changes in effort. Even under adaptive management strategies, imprecise knowledge of the response is likely to help accelerate the adaptive learning process. Data and institutional capacity requirements to employ multi-species biomass dynamics and age-structured models invariably render their use impractical particularly in less developed regions of the world. Surplus production models fitted to catch and effort data aggregated across all species offer viable alternatives. The current paper seeks models of this type that best describe the multi-species catch–effort responses in floodplain-rivers, lakes and reservoirs and reef-based fisheries based upon among fishery comparisons, building on earlier work. Three alternative surplus production models were fitted to estimates of catch per unit area (CPUA) and fisher density for 258 fisheries in Africa, Asia and South America. In all cases examined, the best or equal best fitting model was the Fox type, explaining up to 90% of the variation in CPUA. For lake and reservoir fisheries in Africa and Asia, the Schaefer and an asymptotic model fitted equally well. The Fox model estimates of fisher density (fishers km−2) at maximum yield (iMY) for floodplain-rivers, African lakes and reservoirs and reef-based fisheries are 13.7 (95% CI [11.8, 16.4]); 27.8 (95% CI [17.5, 66.7]) and 643 (95% CI [459,1075]), respectively and compare well with earlier estimates. Corresponding estimates of maximum yield are also given. The significantly higher value of iMY for reef-based fisheries compared to estimates for rivers and lakes reflects the use of a different measure of fisher density based upon human population size estimates. The models predict that maximum yield is achieved at a higher fishing intensity in Asian lakes compared to those in Africa. This may reflect the common practice in Asia of stocking lakes to augment natural recruitment. Because of the equilibrium assumptions underlying the models, all the estimates of maximum yield and corresponding levels of effort should be treated with caution.