Rapid Appraisal of the Status of Fisheries for Small Pelagics Using Multivariate, Multidisciplinary Ordination
T. Pitcher, S. Mackinson, M. Vasconcellos, L. Nøttestad, and D. Preikshot
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This paper explores a new method for rapidly evaluating the relative status of fisheries using information from multiple sources in the ecological, technological, economic and social fields. Within each discipline, each member of a set of fishery attributes is scored using published sources or information from experts. First, using multivariate data description, fisheries are ordinated within the four disciplinary areas using Multidimensional Scaling. Second, a single interdisciplinary ordination is performed by using the ordination scores from each discipline together. Reference points for the diagnoses are provided by constructing hypothetical fisheries that are assigned "good" or "bad" scores, defined in terms of sustainability for each discipline, or that have a random assignment of attribute values.
Evaluations of status are made among 29 fisheries for sardine, Atlantic herring, Pacific herring, and anchovy in a wide range of upwelling and coastal systems, including time series for three major herring fisheries. In general, Pacific herring fisheries ordinate in "better" positions than Atlantic herring fisheries; Western Atlantic better than Eastern Atlantic, Alaskan better than British Columbia for Pacific herring, sardines and anchovies better than herring fisheries. Fixed gears, bycatch reduction devices, and socially integrated fishing communities increase evaluated status. For most individual fisheries and for the trajectories from the herring fishery time series, the ordinations provide evaluations of relative status that is in concordance with what we know from historical documentation and conventional assessments.
Although results are encouraging, the technique needs further refinement. It is not intended to replace conventional stock assessments, but it shows promise for rapid appraisal and monitoring, triage in the face of scarce management resources, and a more objective way of conflating diagnoses from a range of disciplines.
- Item number: AK-SG-98-01ao
- Year: 1998
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.4027/fsam.1998.41