Events & Media


A PhD Dissertation Defense

"Integrating Marine Reserves into Data-Poor Fisheries Management:
Challenges and Opportunities"

Sarah Valencia
PhD Candidate
Bren School

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Bren Hall 2436

Faculty Advisor: Hunter Lenihan
Committee Members: Steve Gaines, Andre Punt

Marine Protected Areas (MPA) can benefit fisheries, but also present a number of challenges for traditional fisheries management approaches. By restricting fishing, MPAs allow fish populations in protected areas to return to unfished conditions. This increases the spatial heterogeneity in fish stocks, presenting a difficulty for traditional stock assessment techniques. However, this may also provide a source of new information for data-poor stocks. This forms the theoretical basis for the recent development of assessment techniques that utilize data from inside marine reserves to assess fished populations outside of reserves. In this dissertation I compare the performance of a suite of MPA-based data-poor methods, both in the short and long term under a range of different kinds of uncertainty. The results indicate that all assessment methods are sensitive to the time since MPA creation, historical fishing pressure, and movement, but that the methods that rely on length data are more robust to these conditions than those that rely on CPUE data. When paired with a control rule, all of the assessment methods performed reasonably well, suggesting that MPA-based assessment techniques may provide a viable option for the management of sedentary data-poor stocks.


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