Genetic consequences of Fisheries and Fisheries Management: Report from a multi-disciplinary workshop in Roene, Bornholm, 25-26 October 2006

Johan Dannewitz, Ann-Britt Florin, Erik Pettersson, Einar Eg Nielsen, E. Magnussen, Geir Dahle, Juha Merila, Mikko Heino, Skúli Skulason, Teija Aho, Torbjorn Jarvi, Torhild Johansen

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A multi-diciplinary workshop on genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management was held in Roene, Bornholm in October 2006. The main objectives of the meeting were to 1) improve communication between parties involved in fisheries management, 2) present current knowledge regarding genetic consequences of fisheries and highlight the importance of including genetic/biological data in the management of exploited fish species, and 3) agree upon recommendations how genetic considerations could be implemented in management and decision mak-ing processes. The following topics were discussed in detail: 1) Identifi-cation of populations and management units, 2) Co-management of fish resources as an alternative management strategy, 3) Evolutionary conse-quences of fisheries, 4) Genetic effects of fish releases, 5) Effects of fish-eries on other species in the ecosystem, and 6) Genetic effects of marine protected areas. For each topic, invited experts gave plenary talks, fol-lowed by discussions by all participants in smaller working groups. The following recommendations were agreed upon by the participants: Management units should be biologically relevant and identified following the ESU concept. Improved information based on popu-lation genetics approaches should be used in all assessment. There is a need for an adaptive management philosophy where managements units are re-evaluated according to changed conditions and new know-ledge. Finally, a biological atlas of suitable managements units for exploited species should be made, preferably by an ICES working group. A prerequisite for successful co-management is that the stakeholders taking part in the work actually have influence on the decision-making process. All Nordic countries should create an advisory board that can give recommendations how the group should be constituted. Co-management projects should be initiated also when there are no problems. It is important that all communication of information, especially scientific, within the co-management group is made in a popular way. Decreased fishing mortality is the prime and "safe" way to decrease/-minimise evolutionary changes. Fishing mortality patterns that either are minimally selective or resemble natural predation are likely to pose less selection pressure than the present highly selective fishing patterns. Complex size-based regulations may reduce certain selection pressures but before these are introduced, background information 10 Genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management should be gathered and planned regulations tested and evaluated with models, afterwards changes should be monitored. Stocking-policies must be more restrictive and only used as an "emergency exit". Identification and removal of the problems in the wild should always be given a high priority before any decisions about stocking are made. When stocking is unavoidable, hatchery practices should meet genetic guidelines and minimise genetic and phenotypic changes of the fish. Genetic and ecological consequences of stocking programmes should always be monitored. A review about restoration methods, which should be translated into all Nordic languages, is warranted. If restoration gives conservation concerns it is recom-mendded to adopt the ESU approach in the decision making process. Escapes from fish farms have to be prevented. The ecosystem approach should be implemented into fisheries management, requiring basic knowledge of population structure of affected species, and monitoring of a larger number of species, not only the target species. Levels of by catches should be reduced to limit direct impacts on non-target species. Basic research on trophic inter-actions in marine and freshwater ecosystems should be prioritized, as should identification of indicator-species in exploited ecosystems. There is a need for a definition of MPA and the objective and criteria for success should be defined before establishing it. There is a need for an improved contact between scientists, managers and fishermen. Continued multidiciplinary workshops is one way of achieving this.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherNordic Council of Ministers
Number of pages53
ISBN (Print)978-92-893-1549-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameTema Nord


  • Genetic consequences


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