Date of Award
Master of Natural Resources (MNR)
This paper reviews the circumstances that led to the collapse of the Pacific groundfish fishery and the steps that fishery managers took to curb over-harvesting and bring the fishery back to sustainability. Fishery managers utilized various management tools such as a vessel buyback program, regulatory mechanisms, and market strategies to improve the available data on the fishery, improve safety for fishermen, and reduce harvest rates and overcapitalization. By employing a diverse range of measures, managers developed a system by with they successfully balanced conservation objectives and minimized adverse impacts to fishing communities. Overcapitalization and overharvest continue to degrade the health of fisheries stocks across the world. Vessel buyback programs and limited entry programs can control access to the fishery and reduce fishing capacity. Individual fishing quotas and similar market strategies can help reduce harvest rates and improve catch value. While not universally applicable to all fisheries, some combination of the strategies used in regulating the pacific groundfish recovery are applicable for use for other global overfished stocks.
Richards, Matthew, "From Disaster to Sustainability: The Story of the Pacific Groundfish" (2017). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 888.
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