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CSIS research helps advance sustainability at World Fisheries Congress
April 30, 2012
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From the effects of climate change on whitefish in the Great Lakes to the effects humans have on fish and their habitats around the globe, MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) researchers are working to tease apart how the relationships between people, landscapes and water affect fish biodiversity and productivity.
To help further international cooperation in fisheries science, conservation and management, several CSIS members will present their research at the Sixth World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh May 7-11.
“More than 50 nations attend the World Congress,” said Bill Taylor, University Distinguished professor in global fisheries systems and CSIS faculty member. “With this global perspective, it offers a more holistic picture of the challenges facing fisheries, as well as how we can learn from each other and see the commonalities in our issues and solutions.”
Taylor is collaborating with CSIS master’s students Kelsey Schlee and Hanna Kruckman to present the role great rivers play in the sustainability and prosperity of local communities and their fishing resources. The scientists use case studies from the Volga, Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Mekong rivers and the Zambezi River systems to compare management strategies and develop a catalogue of the most effective ways to maintain and improve the fish communities of the world’s great rivers.
- "The Role of Great Rivers in the Sustainability and Prosperity of Local Communities and their Fisheries Resources" abstract.
Abigail Lynch, CSIS doctoral student, is presenting research on climate change implications for lake whitefish harvest management in the Great Lakes.
“Imagine you’re playing Monopoly and are doing quite well,” Lynch said. “You’ve got numerous hotels on Boardwalk and are raking in the dough anytime someone lands on your valuable plot of property. Now imagine the rules of the game change without you knowing it. Baltic Avenue is now the hot commodity and all of your painstaking investments in Boardwalk are for naught. Now imagine it’s not a game and that this is your livelihood and your family depends on it.
“Currently, the Great Lakes lake whitefish fishery is the most economically valuable and productive commercial fishery in the upper Great Lakes. But, like Boardwalk, this fishery could face new rules as a result of climate change. Our research is developing a decision support tool to optimize harvest management and ensure that the fish, the fishery, and the livelihoods dependent upon it are sustainable even in the face of climate change.”
- "Impact of climate change on lake whitefish (coregonus clupeaformis) in the Laurentian Great Lakes and implications for harvest management" abstract.
Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe, CSIS doctoral student, is presenting research on the effects of two refuges closed to fishing in the Apostle Island region of Lake Superior.
“The refuges were originally created to help restore populations of lake trout, a native Great Lakes fish that became depleted because of overfishing and attacks from sea lampreys,” Zuccarino-Crowe said. “I used historical fishery-independent monitoring data to see if lake trout rebounded faster in the refuges, but also to see if the protected areas potentially affected other economically important species.”
- "Assessment of lake trout refuge effects on trends in relative abundance of select fish species in western Lake Superior, USA" abstract.
Ayman Mabrouk, CSIS doctoral student, is presenting a poster on how no-take zones affect sustainable artisanal fisheries in the Nabq Protected Area in Egypt.
“Artisanal fisheries in the Red Sea are a traditional Bedouin activity in South Sinai, Egypt,” Mabrouk explained. “The catch is mainly subsistence, but the surplus can be a considerable source of income. The Nabq Protected Area is the largest protected area on the Egyptian Coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1995, alternating take and no-take zones were created in coordination with the Bedouin community to sustain the artisanal fisheries and protect the fragile coral reef community.
“Our research suggests that alternate take and no-take zones aren’t enough to sustain the artisanal fisheries in Nabq. Alternative fishing techniques and branching out into other livelihoods, such as tourism, should be explored.”
- "The Impact of Establishing No Take Zones in Maintaining Sustainable Artisanal Fisheries in Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area, South Sinai, EGYPT" abstract
Marielle Peschiera, CSIS master’s student, is presenting research on how supportive relationships between fisheries agencies and local communities can improve the exchange of information.
“As the United States becomes more culturally diverse, fisheries agencies must find meaningful ways of communicating and involving underrepresented communities,” Peschiera said. “My research focused on Hispanic communities in the United States, assessing their engagement in local fisheries and their potential to be more engaged in resource management, with the goal of offering recommendations on how agencies can better engage this group.”
Fishing for Sustainability: MSU Research at the 2102 World Fisheries Congress