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Effects of fishing on the structure and functioning of estuarine and nearshore ecosystems

Blaber, S.J.M., Cyrus, D.P., Albaret, J-J, Ching, C.V., Day, J.W., Elliott, M., Fonseca, M.S., Hoss, D.E., Orensanz, J., Potter, I.C. and Silvert, W. (2000) Effects of fishing on the structure and functioning of estuarine and nearshore ecosystems. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57 (3). pp. 590-602.

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Estuaries and associated coastal waters support many essential fisheries, a fact which contributes to their disproportionately high economic value. They are, however, also among the most extensively modified and threatened of aquatic environments. Almost all have been strongly affected by human beings, and fisheries are an integral part of human activities on the coast. We have taken a global perspective in synthesizing the effects of fishing on estuaries and coastal waters. Rather than attempt to cover all regions of the world in detail, we review eight process-orientated categories affected by fishing, with case studies for each of them: target organisms, non-target organisms, nursery functions, trophic effects, habitat change, reduced water quality, human environment, and potential for local extinctions. Fishing in the estuarine and nearshore environment has clear impacts on the structure and functioning of these ecosystems, although other, non-fishing issues also effect these ecosystems. This creates multiple interactions and reinforces the need for an integrated approach to coastal zone management. Nonetheless, some form of fish-based action plan could be created, especially within estuaries, which would provide management objectives for a particular system.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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