When fisheries managers set a limit on how many fish can be caught, they consider how many fish are out there and how many are needed to populate the next generation. Other things that are not usually considered: the conditions of the ocean and how those may affect the fish, the population of predators, the number of prey fish available, how the fishing limit might affect tourism, or the fishing industry. A group of scientists is currently working on a template that would include such considerations when setting fishing limits. They call it ecosystem-based fisheries management, and it will be part of a presentation at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Portland today.


  • Tim Essington: Professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington