Volume 01 — Marine Stewardship Council
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Volume 01

Publication date: November 2013
  • MSC Low Trophic Level Project: Impacts of depleting forage species in the California Current

    Author: Isaac Kaplan, Christopher J. Brown, Elizabeth A. Faulton, Iris A. Gray, John C. Field and Anthony D.M. Smith
    Publication date: November 2013

    Kaplan I, Brown CJ, Fulton EA, Gray IA, Field JC and Smith ADM (2012) Impacts of depleting forage species in the California Current. Environmental Conservation 1-14

    Two well-developed ecosystem models for the California Current on the West Coast of the USA were used to test the impacts on other parts of the ecosystem of harvesting euphausiids, forage fish, mackerel and mesopelagic fish. The report shows that there are clear trade-offs between the harvest of forage groups and the ability of the California Current to sustain other trophic levels. Though higher trophic level species, such as groundfish, are often managed on the basis of reference points that can reduce biomass to below half of unfished levels, this level of forage species removal is likely to impact the...

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  • MSC Low Trophic Level Project: North Sea Ecosim

    Author: Chris Brown and Steven Mackinson
    Publication date: November 2013

    Marine Stewardship Council Science Series 1: 2 – 18

    The North Sea ecosystem is one of the most heavily exploited marine ecosystems globally. There is concern that current and potential future fisheries for low trophic level forage fish groups may impact upon the ecosystem and fisheries for higher trophic levels. The authors used an Ecopath with Ecosim food-web model for the North Sea to evaluate the ecosystem impacts of forage fish fisheries.

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  • MSC Low Trophic Level Project: Ecosystem impacts of fishing low trophic level groups North Humboldt Current case study

    Author: Martin P. Marzloff and Jorge Tam
    Publication date: November 2013

    Marine Stewardship Council Science Series 1: 19 – 53

    Using two marine ecosystem models (Ecosim and Osmose) applied to the highly productive Humboldt upwelling ecosystem, the project simulate the ecological effects of fishing low trophic level groups on the Peruvian coastal ecosystem. Some depletion experiments on anchovy, mesopelagic fish, macrozooplankton, sardine and jack mackerel were experimented.

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  • MSC Low Trophic Level Project: Southern Benguela upwelling ecosystem

    Author: Lynne Shannon and Yunne Shin
    Publication date: November 2013

    Marine Stewardship Council Science Series 1: 54 – 110

    An investigation into the impacts of depleting key species in the Southern Benguela Upwelling System has been carried out using two modelling approaches, Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) and OSMOSE. The simulations show that FMSY estimates for low trophic level species fall below 1 y-1. Many similarities were found in the ecosystem effects of increased exploitation of LTL species across the two models.

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  • MSC Low Trophic Level Project: South Eastern Australian case study

    Author: Penny Johnson, Cathy Bulman, Beth Fulton and Tony Smith
    Publication date: November 2013

    Marine Stewardship Council Science Series 1: 111 – 170

    The study looked at possible ecosystem impacts of depletion of the low trophic level (LTL)groups. The project ran simulations using two separate ecosystem models, where LTL groups were systematically depleted until they reached a specified percentage of their unfished biomass. The authors found significant ecosystem impacts in most instances where the LTL groups was heavily depleted, and some groups showed strong ecosystem impacts under lower depletion regimes. Model structure and biological parameterisation were found to explain some of the results, with LTL groups that were initially more abundant having the greatest ecosystem impact when they were depleted.

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  • Model and data adequacy for Marine Stewardship Council key low trophic level species designation and criteria and a proposed new assessment index

    Author: Tim Essington and Éva E. Pláganyi
    Publication date: November 2013

    MSC Science Series (2013) 01: 172 - 192

    Using ecological models to identify issues and management measures appropriate to low trophic level (LTL) fisheries. Specifically, to use models to identify important LTL species and the impacts of different fishing pressures on ecosystems. The ability of models to achieve these aims is a function of the quality data used and the detail of the food-web. This report demonstrates the significant effects of aggregating species into guilds or functional groups, using the models to identify connectance levels. A new index is proposed that appears to better identify situations where exploitation of LTL species can impact on ecosystems.

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