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April 26, 1999

Environmental studies professor collaborates on report to Congress

By Jennifer McNulty

A new report to Congress seeks to expand the use of ecosystem principles in fishery management and offers a combination of principles and actions that its authors believe will propel fishery management into ecologically sustainable directions.

Marc Mangel
Photo: Jennifer McNulty

The report, "Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management," was produced by the Ecosystem Principles Advisory Panel of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Marc Mangel, professor of environmental studies and the Institute of Marine Sciences, was a member of the panel.

"We do not have a magic formula," David Fluharty, chair of the panel, conceded in the preface of the report, which addresses issues such as harvest rates and overfishing, rebuilding of fish populations, accountability, preservation of fish habitat, and the impact of fishing on the environment.

But the report attempts to broaden the scope of fishery management and ultimately make fisheries sustainable by asking more encompassing questions, wrote Fluharty.

"As a society, we are recognizing the limits of the sea to provide resources and of our abilities to stay within those limits," he concluded.

The report is available on the Web at: www.nmfs.gov/sfa/reports.html.

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