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The Ten Commandments

Feb 19,2007 SACN

An Article in Underwater Times points to the need to take a new approach to managing our fisheries, and gives Ten Commandments for doing so.

  • Keep a perspective that is holistic, precautionary and adaptive

  • Maintain an "old growth" structure in fish populations, since big, old, fat, female fish have been shown to be the best spawners, but are also susceptible to overfishing.

  • Characterize and maintain the natural spatial structure of fish stocks, so that management boundaries match natural boundaries in the sea.

  • Monitor and maintain seafloor habitats to make sure fish have food and shelter.

  • Maintain resilient ecosystems which are able to withstand occasional shocks.


  • Identify and maintain critical food-web connections, including predators and forage species.

  • Adapt to ecosystem changes through time, both short-term and on longer cycles of decades or centuries, including global climate change.

  • Account for evolutionary changes caused by fishing, which tends to remove large, older fish.

  • Include the actions of humans and their social and economic systems in all ecological equations.

The full article can be read at: UnderwaterTimes.com 


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