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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Managers must be able to wear different hats in order to achieve sustainability in multi-species fisheries. Photos: Imme Schmidt

Voss R, Quaas MF, Schmidt JO, Hoffmann J


Regional trade-offs from multi-species maximum sustainable yield (MMSY) management options


The maximum sustainable yield (MSY) concept is a central paradigm in today’s fisheries management. Interactions among species require broader multi-species (MMSY) definitions, and ecological, economic and social considerations. We applied a multi-species, ecologic–economic model of the Baltic Sea and investigated a set of different strategic management options and their regional trade-offs. An unconstrained profit-maximizing management strategy would lead to a highly profitable cod fishery in a cod-dominated ecosystem. Concurrent sprat stock size (and profits) would be low, falling below precautionary reference points. Paying regard to ecological constraints on minimum stock sizes still opens a wide range of strategic options, including the option for a clupeid-dominated system. The regional distribution of profits strongly depends on the management.


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