Global marine primary production constrains fisheries catches

Type Article
Date 2010-04
Language English
Author(s) Chassot Emmanuel1, Bonhommeau SylvainORCID1, Dulvy Nicholas K.2, Melin Frederic3, Watson Reg4, Gascuel Didier5, Le Pape Olivier5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ctr Rech Halieut Mediterraneenne & Trop, UMR EME 212, IRD IFREMER UM2, F-34200 Sete, France.
2 : Simon Fraser Univ, Earth Ocean Res Grp, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
3 : Inst Environm & Sustainabil, European Commiss, Joint Res Ctr, I-21027 Ispra, VA, Italy.
4 : Univ British Columbia, Sea Us project, Fisheries Ctr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
5 : Univ Europeenne Bretagne, UMR ESE 985, INRA Agrocampus Ouest, F-35042 Rennes, France.
Source Ecology Letters (1461-023X) (Wiley-blackwell Publishing, Inc), 2010-04 , Vol. 13 , N. 4 , P. 495-505
DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01443.x
WOS© Times Cited 257
Keyword(s) Bottom-up, Large Marine Ecosystem, quantile regression, sustainable fishing
Abstract Primary production must constrain the amount of fish and invertebrates available to expanding fisheries; however the degree of limitation has only been demonstrated at regional scales to date. Here we show that phytoplanktonic primary production, estimated from an ocean-colour satellite (SeaWiFS), is related to global fisheries catches at the scale of Large Marine Ecosystems, while accounting for temperature and ecological factors such as ecosystem size and type, species richness, animal body size, and the degree and nature of fisheries exploitation. Indeed we show that global fisheries catches since 1950 have been increasingly constrained by the amount of primary production. The primary production appropriated by current global fisheries is 17-112% higher than that appropriated by sustainable fisheries. Global primary production appears to be declining, in some part due to climate variability and change, with consequences for the near future fisheries catches.
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