International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Report of the ad hoc meeting on the provision of advice on the biological basis for fisheries management

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posted on 1977-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

In response to a resolution (C.Res.1975/2:3) passed by the Council at its 63rd Statutory Meeting (see Appendix 1), an ad hoc meeting on the biological basis for fisheries management was held in Charlottenlund during 5-9 January, 1976. The participants are listed in Appendix 2.

The Council's request for a consideration and review of the objectives of fisheries management is a reflection of a vital and central process in the development of science, i.e. to systematically search for mistakes and errors in order to improve understanding and knowledge. Fisheries biology is a fairly young science, and the processes and phenomena with which it deals are complex and often

difficult to observe and quantify. There has, however, been a great demand for its application as a result of the rapid development of fisheries in the postwar period. Scientific advice has in general been available during this period of expansion and development, but the efforts made to guide and manage the fisheries have met with only limited success. It is only natural, therefore, that the scientists should at this stage question the adequacy and relevance

of their function in the process of fisheries management.

Because biologically based objectives such as the highest physical yield from a resource has been thought to represent a more generally acceptable aim of fishery management than for instance economic objectives, fishery scientists have played a primary role in formulating

and promoting objectives for resource management. The most important of these is the maximum sustainable yield which has attained a wide and general usage. A considerable part of the time of the ad hoc meeting was spent in a critical analysis of the significance of the MSY-concept, and the uses and interpretations which have been made of it and of related terms. Section 2 of the Report deals with this analysis. Similar reviews of biological management objectives have recently been undertaken also in other fora such as ICNAF and ACMRR, and the relevant reports were available and used by the Group.


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ICES. 1977. Report of the ad hoc meeting on the provision of advice on the biological basis for fisheries management . ICES Cooperative Research Report, Vol. 62. 20 pp.

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