Managing marine fisheries from an ecosystem perspective is a unique challenge, one that is bringing together numerous scientists on a new task force to move the science on this issue forward. Dubbed the Fishery Ecosystem Task Force, the group—funded by the Lenfest Ocean Program—will conduct their work under the leadership of Tim Essington from the College of the Environment’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The group of 13 scientists will work to create a practical ‘blueprint’ that managers can use to make ecosystem-based fisheries management a reality.
“Scientists have long recognized and supported the idea that fisheries management should consider the relationships of the larger marine environment, but there hasn’t been a clear path to implementation,” said Essington, a marine ecologist who has studied in depth the interaction between fisheries and food webs. “It’s not as simple as managing one fish at time. If we want to continue catching, cooking, and eating fish, we need to maintain the health of the entire system.”