Thursday, October 5, 2006
Quantifying tradeoffs between ecology, economy and climate in the Northern California Current Ecosystem
United States West Coast fisheries operate in a highly variable marine environment and have experienced various degrees of success and failure in the last half century. The interactions and concomitant tradeoffs between fleets, marine resources and climate conditions have shaped this history yet prove challenging to quantify. To explore ecosystem effects of fishing and climate in the Northern California Current Ecosystem and its fisheries, we perturbed a food-web model over the 1960-2000 time period as well as evaluated equilibrium properties of the system when subjected to different fishing policies. We then examined relationships and tradeoffs in both ecological (species biomass) and economic (fleet revenue) terms in response to these perturbations. Recognizing that the nature of relationships and tradeoffs likely reflect both the nature of the perturbation and the time scale considered, we examined three perturbations (individual fleets separately, all fleets simultaneously, climate inclusion/exclusion) at three different time scales (historical by decade, entire 40 year historical period, equilibrium 100 year period). We found distinct tradeoffs between climate and fishing both through the lens of ecology and economy. We discuss select results from this project in the context of ecosystem-based fishery management.
Jodie Little is a PhD candidate in the UW School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences.