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The Role of Precaution in Stock Recovery Plans in a Fishery with Habitat Effect


  • Nichols, Rachel
  • Yamazaki, Satoshi
  • Jennings, Sarah


The precautionary principle has become a cornerstone of modern fisheries management and is recognised as being of particular importance to the rebuilding of depleted stocks and in cases where fishing activity poses a risk to habitat. Harvest control rules and marine reserves offer two means of controlling fishing mortality, and provide managers with mechanisms through which precaution can be exercised. We incorporate the two control mechanisms into a bioeconomic model in which fishing-induced habitat damage occurs. A parameterized model is used to assess alternative ways of exercising precaution in stock recovery plans in achieving stock rebuilding, while taking into consideration the economic and socio-economic objectives of fisheries management. Results strengthen the case for using marine reserves to rebuild depleted stocks, highlighting their role in providing a hedge against negative habitat-fishery feedbacks by directly protecting biomass and indirectly preventing a decline in the carrying capacity. Overall, we show that where a fishery is characterised by fishing-induced habitat damage, a stock rebuilding strategy that incorporates both harvest control rules and marine reserves will outperform a strategy that uses the two control mechanisms individually, across all performance indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Nichols, Rachel & Yamazaki, Satoshi & Jennings, Sarah, 2018. "The Role of Precaution in Stock Recovery Plans in a Fishery with Habitat Effect," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 359-369.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:359-369
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.11.033

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    References listed on IDEAS

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