Nav: Home

Localized sea turtle bycatch regulation leads to higher overall sea turtle bycatch

May 31, 2016

In "Spillover Effects of Environmental Regulation for Sea Turtle Protection in the Hawaii Longline Swordfish Fishery," forthcoming in Marine Resource Economics (July 2016), Hing Ling Chan and Minling Pan show that U.S. bycatch regulation increases total sea turtle bycatch in the surrounding North and Central Pacific Ocean, due to production displacement and higher foreign sea turtle bycatch. This area includes fisheries in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia.

From April 2001 through March 2004, U.S. bycatch regulation prohibited a Hawaii-based longline fishery from catching swordfish. The fishery, which produced the majority of U.S.-consumed swordfish, reopened in April 2004 after implementing bycatch reduction practices. After 2004, total swordfish production from all U.S. fisheries was 50% lower than pre-closure levels, likely resulting from resource expenditures required by the legislation. To meet consumer demand, swordfish production in the North and Central Pacific Ocean steadily rose during this time, increasing the potential for interactions between fishing vessels and sea turtles.

To determine the effects of these production shifts, Chan and Pan analyzed 2002-2012 swordfish catch data from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, while considering bycatch rates under the different policies regulating the North and Central Pacific Ocean. If the U.S. had maintained its pre-closure swordfish production levels, the estimated sea turtle bycatch would be 11% lower than actual 2002-2012 counts. Alternately, if all North and Central Pacific fisheries implemented regulations as restrictive as the U.S., turtle bycatch would decrease by an estimated 83%.

"There is growing recognition that environmental regulation in one location can spill over into other locations and, to varying degrees, offset the intended outcomes of the regulation. Researchers have found these effects in fisheries management, greenhouse gas mitigation, water pollution regulation, and endangered species protection," said Marine Resource Economics Editor-in-Chief Martin D. Smith, Duke University. "This new study adds to a growing body of work that demonstrates the pervasiveness of regulatory spillovers. It challenges policy makers to think carefully about unilateral actions that ultimately may not benefit the environment."
Marine Resource Economics publishes creative and scholarly economic analyses of issues related to natural resource use in the global marine environment. The scope of the journal includes conceptual and empirical investigations aimed at addressing real-world oceans and coastal policy problems. Examples include studies of fisheries, aquaculture, seafood marketing and trade, marine biodiversity, marine and coastal recreation, marine pollution, offshore oil and gas, seabed mining, renewable ocean energy sources, marine transportation, coastal land use and climate adaptation, and management of estuaries and watersheds.

University of Chicago Press Journals

Related Fisheries Articles:

Invitation: Global warming to cause dramatic changes in fisheries
New research from scientists and economists at the University of California Santa Barbara, Oregon State University and Environmental Defense Fund identifies the dramatic future impacts of climate change on the world's fisheries and how fishing reforms are vital to sustaining the global seafood supply.
HKU and international researchers promote marine fisheries reform in China
A study highlighting the challenges and opportunities of fishery management in China has just been released in a perspective piece 'Opportunity for Marine Fisheries Reform in China' in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, with the combined efforts of 18 international researchers all over the world, including an ecologist from the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
How China is poised for marine fisheries reform
China has introduced an unprecedented policy platform for stewarding its fisheries and other marine resources; in order to achieve a true paradigm shift a team of international scientists from within and outside of China recommend major institutional reform.
Profitable coral reef fisheries require light fishing
Fishing is fundamentally altering the food chain in coral reefs and putting dual pressures on the valuable top-level predatory fish, according to new research by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Lancaster University, and other organizations.
Investing in fisheries management improves fish populations
Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that successful fisheries management can be best achieved by implementing and enforcing science-based catch or effort limits.
Integrated approach vital for fisheries management
A comprehensive perspective on evolutionary and ecological processes is needed in order to understand and manage fisheries in a sustainable way.
Lake Tanganyika fisheries declining from global warming
The decrease in fishery productivity in Lake Tanganyika since the 1950s is a consequence of global warming rather than just overfishing, according to a new report from an international team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist.
Under-reporting of fisheries catches threatens Caribbean marine life
Marine fisheries catches have been drastically under-reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, threatening the marine environment and livelihoods of the local community, reveals a recent study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning may affect fisheries
New research by scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology suggests that ingestion of toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of Calanus finmarchicus in the North Atlantic, which is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species.
Inland fisheries determined to surface as food powerhouse
No longer satisfied to be washed out by epic seas and vast oceans, the world's lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs and other land-locked waters continue a push to be recognized -- and properly managed -- as a global food security powerhouse.

Related Fisheries Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".