Although the term, “sustainable”
is often used to describe a desirable attribute for managing the exploitation
of natural resources, by itself sustainability is a rather weak criterion
for judging success. Small fisheries on severely depleted stocks may
be sustainable indefinitely, even though they are far from “ideal” under most
sets of biological, economic and social objectives. Thus, sustainability
of the biological resource is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for
judging the success of fisheries systems. This paper will expand upon
the concept of sustainability and also explore other criteria for evaluating
success, as well as recent approaches for promoting responsible fishing activities
and fisheries management strategies. Emphasis will be given to the current
state of fisheries science, fisheries management, and the fisheries resources
themselves from international and U.S. national perspectives. The author
will also attempt a prognosis for the future but at this point in time it
is not known whether it will be pessimistic or optimistic.
A New Zealander by birth, Dr.
Pamela Mace obtained her Ph.D. in Resource Ecology from the University of
British Columbia, Canada, in 1983. Subsequently, she has worked in
Canada, New Zealand, and the United States on marine fisheries science and
management issues including fish stock assessments, bio-economic modeling,
controlled access to fisheries, measurement and control of fishing capacity,
biological reference points and overfishing definitions, and ecosystem-based
management. She is currently the national stock assessment coordinator
for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.
Mace, Pamela, 2001
. Fish and Fisheries 2, p. 2-32
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