Reference levels of ecosystem indicators at multispecies maximum sustainable yield

We investigate reference points for ecosystem indicators in support of an Ecosystem Approach to Fishery. In particular, we assess indicator capacity to detect when the Multispecies Maximum Sustainable Yield (MMSY) is reached, under a wide range of multispecies fishing strategies. The analysis was carried out using a simulation approach based on the ecosystem model OSMOSE in the southern Benguela. We show that the 13 ecosystem indicators have reference points at MMSY that are highly variable across fishing strategies. The state of the ecosystem at MMSY is so variable across fishing strategies that it is not possible to set reference points without considering the fishing strategy. However, strategy-specific reference points were found to constitute robust proxies for MMSY in more than 90% of the simulated fishing strategies. For instance, under the current fishing strategy in the southern Benguela, robust reference points at MMSY could be identified for the following indicators: mean length of fish, mean lifespan, biomass over catch ratio, trophic level of the surveys, mean trophic index, proportion of predatory fish, intrinsic vulnerability index, and mean maximum length.


ecosystem-based fishery management, fishing strategy, indicator reference point, multispecies MSY, southern Benguela

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Briton Florence, Shannon Lynne, Barrier Nicolas, Verley Philippe, Shin Yunne-Jai (2019). Reference levels of ecosystem indicators at multispecies maximum sustainable yield. Ices Journal Of Marine Science. 76 (7). 2070-2081.,

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