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Deriving optimal fishing effort for managing Australia's Moreton Bay multispecies trawl fishery with aggregated effort data

Wang, N. and Wang, Y.-G. and Courtney, A. J. and O'Neill, M. F. (2014) Deriving optimal fishing effort for managing Australia's Moreton Bay multispecies trawl fishery with aggregated effort data. ICES Journal of Marine Science . ISSN 1054-3139

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsu216


Deriving an estimate of optimal fishing effort or even an approximate estimate is very valuable for managing fisheries with multiple target species. The most challenging task associated with this is allocating effort to individual species when only the total effort is recorded. Spatial information on the distribution of each species within a fishery can be used to justify the allocations, but often such information is not available. To determine the long-term overall effort required to achieve maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and maximum economic yield (MEY), we consider three methods for allocating effort: (i) optimal allocation, which optimally allocates effort among target species; (ii) fixed proportions, which chooses proportions based on past catch data; and (iii) economic allocation, which splits effort based on the expected catch value of each species. Determining the overall fishing effort required to achieve these management objectives is a maximizing problem subject to constraints due to economic and social considerations. We illustrated the approaches using a case study of the Moreton Bay Prawn Trawl Fishery in Queensland (Australia). The results were consistent across the three methods. Importantly, our analysis demonstrated the optimal total effort was very sensitive to daily fishing costs—the effort ranged from 9500–11 500 to 6000–7000, 4000 and 2500 boat-days, using daily cost estimates of $0, $500, $750, and $950, respectively. The zero daily cost corresponds to the MSY, while a daily cost of $750 most closely represents the actual present fishing cost. Given the recent debate on which costs should be factored into the analyses for deriving MEY, our findings highlight the importance of including an appropriate cost function for practical management advice. The approaches developed here could be applied to other multispecies fisheries where only aggregated fishing effort data are recorded, as the literature on this type of modelling is sparse.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:effort allocation, multispecies fisheries, optimal fishing effort, optimization
Subjects:Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery research
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Fisheries > Fishery management. Fishery policy
Deposited On:12 Jan 2015 00:28
Last Modified:12 Jan 2015 00:28

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