Managing interacting species in unassessed fisheries

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14 January 2014

This paper addresses the management of multispecies fisheries, and suggests the use of restricted fishing policies as an interesting option for unassessed fisheries (as is the case within developing countries). Specifically, we consider a predator-prey system where agents comete to harvest from two interacting fish species. Two management policies are considered: an unrestricted regime where agents can harvest from both species, and a second one where only the predators can be harvested. The performance of both policies is compared from an ecological and an economic point of view. For a sufficiently large number of agents (of for strong biological interaction parameters) the restricted fishing policy is shown to yield both higher long run stock levels and profits. Thus, this contribution suggests that such a policy would require very little monitoring while meeting environmental and economic objectives.