Genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management

Report from a multi-disciplinary workshop in Rönne, Bornholm, 25–26 October 2006

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This report summarizes talks, discussions and conclusions from a multi-disciplinary workshop on genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management held in Rönne, Bornholm in October 2006. The workshop was intended for fishermen, scientists, decision makers, managers and other stakeholders from the Nordic countries. The main objectives were to improve communication between parties involved in fisheries management present current knowledge regarding genetic consequences of fisheries, and highlight the importance of including genetic/biological data in the management of exploited fish species agree upon recommendations on how genetic considerations could be implemented in management and decision making processes.



The ecosystem approach and effects of fisheries on non-target species

The ecosystem approach is a strategy for management of land, waters and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use. The approach does not aim for short-term economic gains, but aims to optimize the use of an ecosystem without damaging it. Ecosystem has been defined in Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity: “Ecosystem means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit”. The scale of analysis should be determined by the problem being addressed, and could, for example, be a pond, a lake or part of a sea. The ecosystem approach requires adaptive management to deal with the complex and dynamic structure of many ecosystems. “Learning by doing” and research feedback are important corner stones, and measures may need to be taken even if cause-and-effect relationships are not yet fully scientifically established. The ecosystem approach is comprehensive in that it includes, besides all biological resources, the economic health of communities that are affected. An important characteristic of ecosystem based management is that all parties involved, including fishermen, managers, scientists etc, are preferably involved in management decisions (see “co-management as an alternative management strategy” above).


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