Integrated fisheries management of less economically valuable species: a case study of Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Mercer, Keith Blair (2013) Integrated fisheries management of less economically valuable species: a case study of Atlantic hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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To provide advice to fisheries managers, scientists study both commercially valuable species and species of ecological importance in order to learn their habits, biology, population dynamics, and ecological role. This data is then processed and interpreted and passed onto managers who use this information to establish yearly catch limits for commercial species. Historically, the large scale commercial fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador have been based on species that have exhibited high abundance and low biomass. However, as the numbers of commercially valuable fish species continue to decline, harvesters are turning to species that are less abundant and of less commercial value in order to maximise the value of their annual income. In this context, less economic value would be a result of a low price per weight of species harvested, or a high price per weight, but low numbers of species actually harvested. In Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) employs highly skilled and well educated scientists to study the biomass and abundance or formally abundant commercially valuable fishery species, but very few of these researchers are familiar with many of the less commercially valuable species. In order to be able to set responsible catch limits for these newly harvested species, the DFO must either hire more biologists who are familiar with these species, or develop methodologies which will provide them with the scientific data they require to ensure a sustainable harvest. This will require an integrated management approach, where harvesters will have a means to provide DFO with the data required for a sustainable management plan. -- The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that traditional ecological knowledge of fish harvesters should continue to be integrated with conventional fisheries research data in the importance of industry involvement during data collection. The resulting information could then be used to help determine if new and emerging fish species of less economic value can sustain a commercially viable fishery. The published paper; An Exploratory Fishing Survey and Biological Resource Assessment of Atlantic Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa) Occurring on the Southwest Slope of the Newfoundland Grand Bank (Grant, 2006) will be used as a case study to emphasize this point.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11035
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 38-40).
Department(s): Marine Institute
Date: 2013
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Atlantic hagfish--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fishery management--Economic aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fisheries--Catch effort--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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