Journal of Environmental Management | VOL. 280

Fishery reforms for the management of non-indigenous species

Publication Date Feb 1, 2021


Marine ecosystems are undergoing major transformations due to the establishment and spread of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS). Some of these organisms have adverse effects, for example by reducing biodiversity and causing ecosystem shifts. Others have upsides, such as benefits to fisheries or replacing lost ecological functions and strengthening biogenic complexity. Stopping the spread of NIS is virtually impossible and so the societal challenge is how to limit the socioeconomic, health, and ecological risks, and sustainably exploit the benefits provided by these organisms. We propose a move away from the notion that NIS have only negative effects, and suggest a turn towards an Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management approach for NIS (EBFM-NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea, the world's most invaded marine region. A structured, iterative, and adaptive framework that considers the range of costs and benefits to ecosystems, ecosystem services, and fisheries is set out to determine whether NIS stocks should be managed using sustainable or unsustainable exploitation. We propose fishery reforms such as multiannual plans, annual catch limits, technical measures for sustainable exploitation, and legitimization of unlimited fishing of selected NIS and introduction of a radical new license for NIS fishing for unsustainable exploitation. Depending on local conditions, investment strategies can be included within the EBFM-NIS framework to protect/enhance natural assets to improve ecosystem resilience against NIS, as well as fishery assets to improv...


Non-Indigenous Species Sustainable Exploitation Marine Resources For Sustainable Development United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Spread Of Non-Indigenous Species Annual Catch Limits Enhance Ecosystem Services Fishery Reforms Multiannual Plans Unsustainable Exploitation

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