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Keywords:

  • effort allocation;
  • fisheries management;
  • maximum sustainable yield;
  • MSY;
  • reference points;
  • yellowfin tuna

Abstract

The allocation of effort among fishing gears is as important as controlling effort with respect to both sustainable yield and ecosystem management. Differences in age-specific vulnerability to the fishing method can modify the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) that is obtainable from a fish stock. Different gears or methods are more or less selective for the species targeted, and MSY is rarely, if ever, attainable simultaneously for all species. The different fishing methods capture different types of nontarget species. Some methods will often be more profitable than others, and different user groups will prefer different methods. In many fisheries, it is unlikely that fishing can be limited to a single gear or method, so compromises among them will be required. Global MSY is discussed as a possible reference point for fisheries management. The yellowfin tuna fishery in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) shows all the above characteristics and is used to illustrate effort allocation among fishing methods.