Ecological risk assessment and its application to elasmobranch conservation and management

A. J. Gallagher, P. M. Kyne, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are employed to quantify and predict the vulnerability of a particular species, stock or population to a specific stressor, e.g. pollution, harvesting, climate change, by-catch. Data generated from ERAs are used to identify and prioritize species for implementation of effective conservation and management strategies. At this time, ERAs are of particular importance to elasmobranchs, given the ecological importance and documented global population declines of some elasmobranch species. Here, ERAs as a tool for elasmobranch conservation and management are reviewed and a theoretical roadmap provided for future studies. To achieve these goals, a brief history of ERAs and approaches used within them (in the context of elasmobranchs) are given, and a comprehensive review conducted of all ERA studies associated with elasmobranchs published between 1998 and 2011. The hazards assessed, species evaluated and methodological approaches taken are recorded. Chronological and geographical patterns suggest that this tool has grown in popularity as a commercial fishery management instrument, while also signalling a recent precautionary approach to elasmobranch management in commercial fisheries globally. The analysis demonstrates that the predominant parameters incorporated in previous ERAs are largely based on life-history characteristics, and sharks have received the majority of attention; batoids (including skates) have received less attention. Recreational fishing and habitat degradation are discussed as hazards which warrant future investigation through ERA. Lastly, suggestions are made for incorporating descriptive ecological data to aid in the continued development and evolution of this management tool as it applies to future elasmobranch conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1727-1748
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume80
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Fingerprint

environmental assessment
risk assessment
hazard
development aid
Rajidae
sport fishing
bycatch
population decline
shark
fishery management
sharks
fisheries management
aid
fishing
vulnerability
life history
pollution
fisheries
climate change
degradation

Keywords

  • Batoid
  • By-catch
  • Risk analysis
  • Shark
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Ecological risk assessment and its application to elasmobranch conservation and management. / Gallagher, A. J.; Kyne, P. M.; Hammerschlag, Neil.

In: Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 80, No. 5, 04.2012, p. 1727-1748.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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