Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

A bioeconomic optimization approach for rebuilding marine communities: British Columbia case study

  • C. H. AINSWORTH (a1) and T. J. PITCHER (a1)
Summary
SUMMARY

Many marine ecosystems are depleted of living resources as a result of long-term overexploitation. Restoration plans should perhaps consider the entire ecosystem as opposed to single species, yet there is currently no suitable framework available for the design and comparison of whole-ecosystem restoration trajectories. This paper presents a novel addition to Ecopath with Ecosim's policy search routine, the ‘specific biomass’ objective function, which allows gaming scenarios to be run using selective fishing as a tool to rebuild depleted marine ecosystems or modify them into a preferred state. In this paper, restoration scenarios aimed to restore an ecosystem in Northern British Columbia to a state similar to the historic ecosystem of 1950 AD. Restoration plans that achieve restoration quickly tend to require a large sacrifice in fishery profits, while slower plans allow for continued harvest benefits. A convex relationship between profit and recovered biodiversity suggests that there may be an optimal rate of restoration. Cost-benefit analysis demonstrates that conservative restoration plans can offer a rate of return superior to bank interest when viewed as an investment in natural capital. Increasing the selectivity of fishing gear improves the economic outlook.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr Cameron Ainsworth, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Boulevard, East Seattle, WA 98113, USA Tel: +1 202 860 3289 e-mail: cameron.ainsworth@noaa.gov
References
Hide All
Ainsworth C.H. (2006) Strategic marine ecosystem restoration in northern British Columbia. Ph.D. thesis. Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada: 423 pp.
Ainsworth C.H. & Pitcher T.J. (2005) Estimating illegal, unreported and unregulated catch in British Columbia's marine fisheries. Fisheries Research 75: 4055.
Ainsworth C.H. & Pitcher T.J. (2006) Modifying Kempton's species diversity index for use with ecosystem simulation models. Ecological Indicators 6 (3): 623630.
Ainsworth C.H. & Pitcher T.J. (2008) Back to the future in northern British Columbia: evaluating historic marine ecosystems and optimal restorable biomass as restoration goals for the future. In: Reconciling Fisheries with Conservation: Proceedings of the Fourth World Fisheries Congress, ed. Nielsen J.L., Dodson J.J., Friedland K., Hamon T.R., Musick J. & Verspoor E., pp. 317329. Bethesda, Maryland, USA: American Fisheries Society, Symposium 49: 1946 pp.
Ainsworth C.H. & Sumaila U.R. (2005) Intergenerational valuation of fisheries resources can justify long-term conservation: a case study in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62: 11041110.
Ainsworth C.H., Heymans J.J. & Pitcher T.J. (2004) Policy search methods for back to the future. In: Back to the Future: Advances in Methodology for Modeling and Evaluating Past Ecosystems. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 12(1), ed. Pitcher T.J., pp. 4863. Vancouver, Canada: Fisheries Center, University of British Columbia: 158 pp.
Ainsworth C.H., Pitcher T.J., Heymans J.J. & Vasconcellos M. (2008 a) Reconstructing historical marine ecosystems using food web models: Northern British Columbia from pre-European contact to present. Ecological Modelling 216: 354368.
Ainsworth C.H., Varkey D. & Pitcher T.J. (2008 b) Ecosystem simulations supporting ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Coral Triangle, Indonesia. Ecological Modelling 214 (2–4): 361374.
Cadigan S.T. & Hutchings J.A. (2001) Nineteenth-century expansion of the Newfoundland fishery for Atlantic cod: an exploration of underlying causes. In: The Exploited Seas: New Directions for Marine Environmental History, ed. Holm P., Smith T.D. & Starkey D.J., pp. 3165. St John's, Newfoundland, Canada: International Maritime Economic History Association and Census of Marine Life.
Campbell L.M., Gray N.J., Hazen E.L. & Shackeroff J.M. (2009) Beyond baselines: rethinking priorities for ocean conservation. Ecology and Society 14 (1): 114.
Cheung W.W.L. & Sumaila U.R. (2008) Trade-offs between conservation and socio-economic objectives in managing a tropical marine ecosystem. Ecological Economics 66 (1): 193210.
Christensen V. & Pauly D. (1992) ECOPATH II. A software for balancing steady-state models and calculating network characteristics. Ecological Modeling 61: 169185.
Christensen V. & Pauly D., eds. (1993) Flow characteristics of aquatic ecosystems. In: Trophic Models of Aquatic Ecosystems. ICLARM Conference Proceedings 26, ed. Christensen V. & Pauly D., pp. 338352. Manila, Philippines: International Center for Living Aquatic Resource Management: 390 pp.
Christensen V. & Walters C.J. (2004) Trade-offs in ecosystem-scale optimization of fisheries management policies. Bulletin of Marine Science 74 (3): 549562.
Christensen V., Walters C.J. & Pauly D. (2005) Ecopath with Ecosim: a User's Guide. November 2005 edition. Vancouver, Canada: Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia: 154 pp. [www document]. URL http://ecopath.org/modules/Support/Helpfile/EweUserGuide51.pdf
Christensen V., Guénette S., Heymans J.J., Walters C.J., Watson R., Zeller D. & Pauly D. (2003) Hundred-year decline of North Atlantic predatory fishes. Fish and Fisheries 4: 124.
Clark W.G. & Munro G.R. (1975) Economics of fishing and modern capital theory: a simplified approach. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 2: 92106.
Duarte C.M., Conley D.J., Carstensen J. & Sánchez-Camacho M. (2009) Return to Neverland: shifting baselines affect eutrophication restoration targets. Estuaries and Coasts 32: 2936.
Estes J.A. & Duggins D.O. (1995) Sea otters and kelp forests in Alaska: generality and variation in a community ecological paradigm. Ecological Monographs 65 (1): 75100.
FAO (1995) The code of conduct for responsible fisheries. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Adopted by the Twenty-eighth session of the FAO Conference in October 1995 [www document]. URL http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/v9878e/v9878e00.htm
Fletcher R. & Powell M.J.D. (1963) A rapidly convergent descent method for minimization. The Computer Journal 6: 163168.
Gréboval D. & Munro G.R. (1999) Overcapitalization and excess capacity in world fisheries: underlying economics and methods of control. In: Managing Fishing Capacity: Selected Papers on Underlying Concepts and Issues, pp. 148. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 286. Rome, Italy: FAO.
Halpern B.S., Walbridge S., Selkoe K.A., Kappel C.V., Micheli F., D'Agrosa C., Bruno J.F., Casey K.S., Ebert C., Fox H.E., Fujita R., Heinemann D., Lenihan H.S., Madin E.M.P., Perry M.T., Selig E.R., Spalding M., Steneck R. & Watson R. (2008) A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 15 (5865): 948952.
Hughes T.P., Bellwood D.R., Folke C., Steneck R. & Wilson J. (2005) New paradigms for supporting the resilience of marine ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20 (7): 380386.
Lance M., Richardson S. & Allen H. (2004) Washington state recovery plan for the sea otter. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, USA: 91 pp. [www document]. URL http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/diversty/soc/recovery/seaotter/final_seaotter_recovery_plan_dec2004.pdf
Larkin P.A. (1977) An epitaph for the concept of maximum sustained yield. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 106 (1): 111.
Larkin P.A. (1996) Concepts and issues in marine ecosystem management. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 6: 139164.
Mace P.M. (1997) Developing and sustaining world fisheries resources: the state of science and management (keynote presentation). In: Developing and Sustaining World Fisheries Resources: the State of Science and Management. Proceedings of the Second World Fisheries Congress, ed. Hancock D.A., Smith D.C., Grant A. & Beumer J.P., pp. 122. Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.
Mace P.M. (2001) A new role for MSY in single-species and ecosystem approaches to fisheries stock assessment and management. Fish and Fisheries 2: 232.
Mackinson S., Blanchard J.L., Pinnegar J.K. & Scott R. (2003) Consequences of alternative functional response formulations in models exploring whale-fishery interactions. Marine Mammal Science 19 (4): 661681.
Mackay A. (1981) The generalized inverse. Practical Computing (September): 108–110.
Myers R.A. & Worm B. (2003) Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature 423: 280283.
Myers R.A. & Worm B. (2005) Extinction, survival, or recovery of large predatory fishes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 360: 1320.
Okey T.A., Vargo G.A., Mackinson S., Vasconcellos M., Mahmoudi B. & Meyer C.A. (2004) Simulating community effects of sea floor shading by plankton blooms over the West Florida Shelf. Ecological Modelling 172 (2–4): 339359.
Pauly D., Christensen V., Dalsgaard J., Froese R. & Torres F. (1998) Fishing down marine foods webs. Science 279: 860863.
Pauly D., Christensen V., Guénette S., Pitcher T.J., Sumaila U.R., Walters C.J., Watson R. & Zeller D. (2002) Towards sustainability in world fisheries. Nature 418 (6898): 689695.
Pitcher T.J. (2001) Fisheries managed to rebuild ecosystems: reconstructing the past to salvage the future. Ecological Applications 11 (2): 601617.
Pitcher T.J. (2005) ‘Back to the future’: a fresh policy initiative for fisheries and a restoration ecology for ocean ecosystems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B. Biological Sciences 360 (1453): 107121.
Pitcher T.J., Haggan N., Preikshot D. & Pauly D. (1999) ‘Back to the future’: a method employing ecosystem modeling to maximize the sustainable benefits from fisheries. In: Ecosystem Approaches for Fisheries Management. Proceedings of the 16th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium AK-SG-99-01, pp. 447466. Sea Grant Fairbanks, Alaska, USA: University of Alaska.
Pitcher T.J., Heymans J.J., Ainsworth C.H., Buchary E.A., Sumaila U.R. & Christensen V. (2004) Opening the lost valley: implementing a ‘back to the future’ restoration policy for marine ecosystems and their fisheries. In: Sustainable Management of North American Fisheries, ed. Knudsen E.E., MacDonald D.D. & Muirhead J.K., pp. 173201. Bethesda, Maryland, USA: American Fisheries Society, Symposium 43.
Pitcher T.J., Ainsworth C.H., Buchary E.A., Cheung W., Forrest R., Haggan N., Lozano H., Morato T. & Morissette L. (2005) Strategic management of marine ecosystems using whole-ecosystem simulation modeling: the ‘back to the future’ policy approach. In: Strategic Management of Marine Ecosystems, (NATO Science Series IV. Earth and Environmental Sciences, 50), ed. Levner E., Linkov I. & Proth J.M., pp. 199258. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer: 313 pp.
Pitcher T.J., Kalikoski D., Pramod G. & Short K. (2009) Not honouring the code. Nature 457: 658659.
Polovina J.J. (1984) Model of a coral reef ecosystem. I. The Ecopath model and its application to French frigate shoals. Coral Reefs 3 (1): 111.
Riedman M.L. & Estes J.A. (1998) A review of the history, distribution and foraging ecology of sea otters. In: The Community Ecology of Sea Otters, ed. Van Blarian G.R. & Estes J.A., pp. 421. Germany: Springer Verlag.
Rice J. & Rivard D. (2003) Proceedings of the zonal assessment meeting: Atlantic cod. Halifax, Nova Scotia. February 17–26, 2003 [www document]. URL http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas/Csas/proceedings/2003/PRO2003_021_E.pdf
Rosenberg A. & McLeod K.O. (2005) Implementing ecosystem-based approaches to management for the conservation of ecosystem services. Marine Ecology Progress Series 300: 270274.
Rosenberg A., Bolster W.J., Alexander K.E., Leavenworth W.B., Cooper A.B. & McKenzie M.G. (2005) The history of ocean resources: modeling cod biomass using historical records. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2 (3): 8390.
Scheffer M., Carpenter S., Foley J.A., Folke C. & Walker B. (2001) Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Nature 413: 591596.
Sumaila U.R. (2001) Generational cost benefit analysis for the evaluation of marine ecosystem restoration. In: Fisheries Impacts on North Atlantic Ecosystems: Evaluations and Policy Exploration, ed. Pitcher T.J. & Sumaila U.R., pp. 3–9. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 9(5): 94 pp [www document]. URL http://www.seaaroundus.org/report/impactpolicyF.htm
Sumaila U.R. (2004) Intergenerational Cost Benefit Analysis and Marine Ecosystem Restoration. Fish and Fisheries 5 (4): 329343.
Sumaila U.R. & Walters C.J. (2005) Intergenerational discounting. Ecological Economics 52: 135142.
Steneck R.S., Graham M.H., Bourque B.J., Corbette D., Erlandson J.M., Estes J.A. & Tegner M.J. (2002) Kelp forest ecosystems: biodiversity, stability, resilience and future. Environmental Conservation 29 (4): 436489.
Walters C.J. & Kitchell J.F. (2001) Cultivation/depensation effects on juvenile survival and recruitment: implications for the theory of fishing. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 58 (1): 3950.
Walters C., Christensen V. & Pauly D. (1997) Structuring dynamic models of exploited ecosystems from trophic mass-balance assessments. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 7: 139172.
Walters C.J., Pauly D., Christensen V. & Kitchell J.F. (2000) Representing density dependent consequences of life history strategies in aquatic ecosystems: Ecosim II. Ecosystems 3: 7083.
Walters C.J., Christensen V., Martell S.J. & Kitchell J.F. (2005) Possible ecosystem impacts of applying MSY policies from single-species assessment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 62: 558568.
Ward J.M., Brainerd T., Freese S., Mace P., Milazzo M., Squires D., Terry J., Thunberd E., Travis M. & Walden J. (2001) Report of the National Task Force for Measuring Fishing Capacity. NOAA Technical Memorandum, NOAA, USA.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Ainsworth and Pitcher supplementary material
Appendix

 Word (41 KB)
41 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 85 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.