Lenfest Ocean Program

Supporting Science and Communicating Results

Published Paper

Trade-offs Between Invertebrate Fisheries Catches and Ecosystem Impacts in Coastal New Zealand

Eddy, T. D., Coll, M., Fulton, E. A., & Lotze, H. K. (2015). Trade-offs between invertebrate fisheries catches and ecosystem impacts in coastal New Zealand. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72(5), 1380-1388. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv009

Key Findings

  • Despite substantial global expansion of invertebrate fisheries, the tradeoffs between invertebrate catches and impacts on the ecosystem are poorly studied.
  • Using an Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) model for the south coast of Wellington, New Zealand, the researchers simulated exploitation levels of target species from no depletion through local extinction.  Their results showed that exploitation of lobster was responsible for the biggest changes in ecosystem structure and function, followed by abalone and urchin.
  • All three study species (lobster, abalone, and urchin) are currently being fished at rates higher than those that would produce maximum sustainable yield. The researchers predict that a decreased rate of exploitation will lead to greater catches and significantly diminish impacts on other species in the ecosystem. 

Read more at icesjms.oxfordjournals.org.

Media Contact

Elizabeth Striano

Officer, Communications