Aus researchers ask to harvest diverse range of fishes

Australian Researchers have asked the fisheries to adopt a "balanced exploitation" approach for fishing.

Melbourne: Australian Researchers have
asked the fishing industry to adopt a "balanced exploitation"
approach for fishing and harvest a more diverse range of fish
species to take the pressure off country`s favourite seafood.

Australian fisheries scientist Tony Smith, from the
CSIRO`s Wealth from Oceans Flagship in Hobart, said there
needs to be a "balanced exploitation" of the oceans, according
to the report.

"What we`re looking for is a way to still be able to
harvest from the sea but not have such large ecological
impacts," Smith.

"The balanced exploitation approach is suggesting a
lower overall exploitation rate, particularly with regard to
some of the currently intensively fished species, with the
trade off that you exploit a larger part of the ecosystem," he

Traditionally, fisheries set quotas to ensure the
survival of particular individual species, but Smith and his
colleagues have pieced together growing evidence that shows
more selectivity is not necessarily better.

"There`s now a fair bit of research to support the
view that selective fishing can also have impacts on
biodiversity and on marine ecosystems, and those need to be
considered as well," Smith said.

For example, he said, one particular fishery may
time their harvest to catch most of their target species
before they reproduce.

But in doing this, they will genetically select for
fish that reproduce earlier or later than the majority, when
conditions for survival are not optimal.

Another fishery may harvest more mature fish, but in
doing so encourage reproduction by less mature fish, which may
produce less viable eggs.

Smith said even protected marine areas can have an
unintended negative side-effect, by putting more pressure on
areas immediately outside the protected areas.v

"A closure is usually brought in to protect
biodiversity but can have unintended consequences on
biodiversity, outside the closed area," he said.


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