New Effort to Inform an Ecosystem Approach to Managing U.S. Caribbean Fisheries

New Effort to Inform an Ecosystem Approach to Managing U.S. Caribbean Fisheries

The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) recognizes the need to move toward ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) by taking into account interactions among marine species, human activities, and the environment. The CFMC is planning to develop a Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) to evaluate how best to incorporate ecosystem approaches into existing management for U.S. Caribbean waters. However, stakeholders and managers in the region suggest that a key precursor to an FEP is characterizing the Caribbean’s diverse and complex marine ecosystems.

To meet this need, the Lenfest Ocean Program is funding Drs. J.J. Cruz-Motta, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez; Stacey Williams, Institute for Socio-Ecological Research; and Tarsila Seara, University of New Haven, to investigate the structure and dynamics of U.S. Caribbean ecosystems within a fisheries context. To do so, they will collect qualitative stakeholder data through workshops while also gathering available quantitative information on factors such as fisheries landings, environmental variables, and human-induced stressors. By integrating these two types of data, the team will generate conceptual models for U.S. Caribbean marine ecosystems, which can serve as a foundation for FEP development.

OUR WORK