Symposium on Eco-System Based Fisheries

Ecosystem- based management of fisheries resources

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a balanced way of managing resources by taking into account the probable effect of decisions on the ambient ecosystem. Global concerns over fishery resources, their productivity, sustainability and ecosystem health have led to the development of techniques and strategies for EBM related to fisheries. The concern that marine ecosystems cannot support any further increase in fishing pressure paved the way for EBM, which incorporates the ecological, social, economic and governance needs of the fishery system. Satellite remote sensing and numerical modelling applications have been integrated as tools for supporting decision making systems in EBM fisheries. The availability of global, daily, systematic, high-resolution images obtained from satellites helps in elucidating the relationships between exploited marine organisms and their habitat.

Satellite-based oceanographic and related information provides insights on pelagic fisheries which are important for effective and sustainable fishing practices, which in turn can help to maintain the fishing industry. Earth observation from satellites has revolutionized our view of the oceans and offers vast potential for fisheries related applications, including marine fish resource management, stock assessment, mariculture and fish harvesting. There is a broad range of fisheries-related applications of remotely sensed data, including bycatch reduction, detection of harmful algal blooms, aquaculture site selection, identifying marine managed areas, and describing habitat changes. Remote sensing proves to be an ideal vehicle for retrieving a broad range of objective metrics of ecosystem status. These ecological indicators provide a compact description of the pelagic ecosystem at a given time and place. The comprehensive information they embody affords an invaluable background to biological oceanographic research, and constitutes important ecological intelligence for fisheries management and for ecosystem-based management of marine resources in the broadest sense.