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How should fishing mortality be distributed under balanced harvesting?
- Plank, Michael J.
- Fisheries research 2018 v.207 pp. 171-174
- biodiversity, biomass, harvesting, ingredients, models, mortality, trophic levels
- Zhou and Smith (2017) investigate different multi-species harvesting scenarios using a simple Holling-Tanner model. Among these scenarios are two methods for implementing balanced harvesting, where fishing is distributed across trophic levels in accordance with their productivity. This note examines the effects of a different quantitative implementation of balanced harvesting, where the fishing mortality rate is proportional to the total production rate of each trophic level. The results show that setting fishing mortality rate to be proportional to total production rate, rather than to productivity per unit biomass, better preserves trophic structure and provides a crucial safeguard for rare and threatened ecological groups. This is a key ingredient of balanced harvesting if it is to meet its objective of preserving biodiversity.