April 11, 2013, Raleigh, North Carolina
Understanding the roles that forage species play within ecosystems has emerged in the scientific literature as a key element in the development of an ecosystem approach to fishery management. Forage species provide an important link between primary productivity and upper trophic levels within marine ecosystems. At the same time, forage species often support economically valuable fisheries through direct harvest. Recent scientific findings suggest that forage stocks may warrant special management consideration, especially with respect to achieving ecosystem level management goals and objectives. In addition, current National Standard 1 (NS1) guidelines recommend that consideration should be given to managing forage stocks for higher biomass than traditional MSY based reference points (Bmsy) to enhance and protect the marine ecosystem.
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the key issues relevant to forage fish assessment and management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A panel of experts discussed the role of forage species within ecosystems and best practices with respect to the harvest of forage species, taking their role(s) within ecosystems into account. The Council expects to use the workshop as a starting point for development of a forage exploitation policy as part of its ecosystem approach to fisheries management guidance document.
For presentations 1 & 2:
For presentations 3 & 4:
Panel Members and Bios
Dr. Robert Latour - College of William & Mary
Presentation 1, Dr. Ellen Pikitch: Little Fish, Big Impact: Managing a Crucial Link in Ocean Food Webs
Presentation 2, Dr. E.D. Houde: Managing Lower Trophic Level Species in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Presentation 3, Dr. Robert J. Latour: Potential Approaches for Assessment and Management of Forage Stocks
Presentation 4, Dr. Sarah Gaichas: Current State of Information and Modeling Tools Available to Support an Ecosystem Approach to Management