Ecosystem Effects of Invertebrate Fisheries
Over the past 50 years, global catch of invertebrates, such as mussels, shrimp, and crabs, has increased six-fold, and new fisheries for squid, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers have opened in response to demand. Reducing or removing marine invertebrates entirely may have serious consequences for other animals, such as commercial fish which depend upon them for habitat and food. However, the magnitude of these potential cascading impacts is not well studied.
Dr. Heike Lotze, a marine ecologist at Dalhousie University, is evaluating the ecosystem effects of expanding invertebrate fisheries to determine the ecological tradeoffs associated with removing marine invertebrates from the ecosystem. This research will detail how ecosystem roles played by invertebrate species, such as building habitat or filtering the water, influence other species. Using models to compare twelve ecosystems around the world, Lotze and her colleagues will examine whether the removal of similar invertebrate species result in the same impact across regions, allowing greater inferences to be drawn about the future management of these species.
Recent WorkView All
Lobster, shrimp, squid, crabs, and other invertebrates are increasingly important to the world’s supply of seafood, but managers often lack the information needed to ensure the catch is sustainable. Read More
Since the 1950s, catches of marine invertebrate fisheries have increased six-fold, to over 10 million tons annually, due to expansion of new invertebrate fisheries following declines or more restrictive management of finfish fisheries. In the oceans, invertebrates are a critical food source for fish, mammals, and birds. Yet many invertebrate fisheries lack stock assessments and management plans. Read More
Join us for a presentation by Dr. Tyler Eddy from the University British Columbia on his work studying the ecosystem impacts of invertebrate fisheries. Read More