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Biodiversity offsets: a cost-effective interim solution to seabird bycatch in fisheries?

Pascoe S, Wilcox C, Donlan CJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: In this paper, we re-examine the potential role of compensatory mitigation as a fisheries management tool, although from the perspective of being an interim management measure while more long-lasting solutions to the problem are found.We find that, in the example being examined, invasive rodent eradication is at least 10 times more cost effective than area closures.We conclude that, while this does not solve the actual bycatch problem, it may provide breathing space for both the seabird species and the industry to find longer term means of reducing bycatch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. sean.pascoe@csiro.au

ABSTRACT
The concept of biodiversity offsets is well established as an approach to environmental management. The concept has been suggested for environmental management in fisheries, particularly in relation to the substantial numbers of non-target species--seabirds in particular--caught and killed as incidental bycatch during fishing activities. Substantial areas of fisheries are being closed to protect these species at great cost to the fishing industry. However, other actions may be taken to offset the impact of fishing on these populations at lower cost to the fishing industry. This idea, however, has attracted severe criticism largely as it does not address the underlying externality problems created by the fishing sector, namely seabird fishing mortality. In this paper, we re-examine the potential role of compensatory mitigation as a fisheries management tool, although from the perspective of being an interim management measure while more long-lasting solutions to the problem are found. We re-model an example previously examined by both proponents and opponents of the approach, namely the cost effectiveness of rodent control relative to fishery area closures for the conservation of a seabird population adversely affected by an Australian tuna fishery. We find that, in the example being examined, invasive rodent eradication is at least 10 times more cost effective than area closures. We conclude that, while this does not solve the actual bycatch problem, it may provide breathing space for both the seabird species and the industry to find longer term means of reducing bycatch.

Show MeSH
Change in seabird population over time a) no gear improvements; b) gear improvements after 5 years; c) gear improvements after 10 years.
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pone-0025762-g002: Change in seabird population over time a) no gear improvements; b) gear improvements after 5 years; c) gear improvements after 10 years.

Mentions: The impact of the different options and survival rate scenarios on the seabird population is illustrated in Figure 2, and summarized in Table 2. For comparison, the projected change in population if no mitigation measures are implemented is also presented. Rat mortality is assumed to continue in the closure scenario, while current fishing mortality is assumed to continue for the rat elimination option. The assumption about technology changes is applied to all scenarios equally (including the do-nothing scenario that will also benefit from the improved bycatch reduction technology). For the closure scenario, it is assumed that the fishery will reopen if technical solutions are found, but that there is no subsequent change in seabird mortality (as the closure is assumed to achieve the same low mortality rate as the improved fishing gear).


Biodiversity offsets: a cost-effective interim solution to seabird bycatch in fisheries?

Pascoe S, Wilcox C, Donlan CJ - PLoS ONE (2011)

Change in seabird population over time a) no gear improvements; b) gear improvements after 5 years; c) gear improvements after 10 years.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3198446&req=5

pone-0025762-g002: Change in seabird population over time a) no gear improvements; b) gear improvements after 5 years; c) gear improvements after 10 years.
Mentions: The impact of the different options and survival rate scenarios on the seabird population is illustrated in Figure 2, and summarized in Table 2. For comparison, the projected change in population if no mitigation measures are implemented is also presented. Rat mortality is assumed to continue in the closure scenario, while current fishing mortality is assumed to continue for the rat elimination option. The assumption about technology changes is applied to all scenarios equally (including the do-nothing scenario that will also benefit from the improved bycatch reduction technology). For the closure scenario, it is assumed that the fishery will reopen if technical solutions are found, but that there is no subsequent change in seabird mortality (as the closure is assumed to achieve the same low mortality rate as the improved fishing gear).

Bottom Line: In this paper, we re-examine the potential role of compensatory mitigation as a fisheries management tool, although from the perspective of being an interim management measure while more long-lasting solutions to the problem are found.We find that, in the example being examined, invasive rodent eradication is at least 10 times more cost effective than area closures.We conclude that, while this does not solve the actual bycatch problem, it may provide breathing space for both the seabird species and the industry to find longer term means of reducing bycatch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. sean.pascoe@csiro.au

ABSTRACT
The concept of biodiversity offsets is well established as an approach to environmental management. The concept has been suggested for environmental management in fisheries, particularly in relation to the substantial numbers of non-target species--seabirds in particular--caught and killed as incidental bycatch during fishing activities. Substantial areas of fisheries are being closed to protect these species at great cost to the fishing industry. However, other actions may be taken to offset the impact of fishing on these populations at lower cost to the fishing industry. This idea, however, has attracted severe criticism largely as it does not address the underlying externality problems created by the fishing sector, namely seabird fishing mortality. In this paper, we re-examine the potential role of compensatory mitigation as a fisheries management tool, although from the perspective of being an interim management measure while more long-lasting solutions to the problem are found. We re-model an example previously examined by both proponents and opponents of the approach, namely the cost effectiveness of rodent control relative to fishery area closures for the conservation of a seabird population adversely affected by an Australian tuna fishery. We find that, in the example being examined, invasive rodent eradication is at least 10 times more cost effective than area closures. We conclude that, while this does not solve the actual bycatch problem, it may provide breathing space for both the seabird species and the industry to find longer term means of reducing bycatch.

Show MeSH