University Of Tasmania

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Quantitative ecological risk assessment for fishing effects on diverse data-poor non-target species in a multi-sector and multi-gear fishery

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 09:06 authored by Zhou, S, Smith, ADM, Fuller, M
Assessment of ecological sustainability for all species impacted by fishing is one of the most important and practical steps towards an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. We extend methods for Sustainability Assessment for Fishing Effects (SAFE) to assess diverse bycatch species in a multi-sector and multi-gear fishery. We develop methods for estimating fishing mortality rate, based on limited data, for demersal trawl, Danish seine, gillnet, and longline. The general approach involves estimating spatial overlap between species distribution and fishing effort distribution, catchability resulting from probability of encountering the gear and size-dependent selectivity, and post-capture mortality. We define three reference points (Fmsm, Flim, and Fcrash) and use six methods to derive these reference points. As an example, we apply this method to nearly 500 fish species caught in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery, a multi-sector and multi-gear fishery in Australia. We assess sustainability risk for all captured fish species in each sub-fishery and the cumulative impact across all the sub-fisheries. The results indicate that chondrichthyans are more vulnerable to fishing impact than teleosts, and that impact differs among sectors of the fishery. This method could be easily applied to other fisheries. However, the results may require fine tuning by other means such as expert judgment.


Publication title

Fisheries Research: An International Journal on Fishing Technology, Fisheries Science and Fisheries Management








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified