Implementing Population Viability Analysis into Fisheries Management (pp.43-60)
Authors: (I. Jarić, J. Knežević Jarić, G. Cvijanović, M. Lenhardt, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Kneza Viseslava, Belgrade, Serbia, and others)
Abstract: Fish populations worldwide have experienced severe decline, and some of the species are facing a serious threat of extinction. Population simulations are currently the most promising approach for the assessment of extinction risk and the evaluation of alternative management measures. The population viability analysis (PVA) represents a method that is able to cope with uncertainties present in ecological data and to support decision-making process within the field of fishery management. This chapter presents an overview of the development of the PVA within the field of fishery science, along with an evaluation of the success of its application in fishery management, and major challenges in its future implementation. Potential applications of PVA are very diverse and, beside the estimation of sustainable fishery levels, they were used to address a number of different issues, such as the efficiency of the minimum length limits, extinction risk of the target and bycatch species, impact of the climate change, effects of habitat loss and degradation, and other. Despite some unresolved limitations and problems in the PVA development and implementation, scientific knowledge and fishery management have both earned immensely from this process. PVA should be recognized as an important tool for the process of research and management planning and policy development, and as an integral evaluation and planning component within the adaptive management process. If used with necessary caution, PVA can provide invaluable help in current worldwide efforts for achieving sustainable fishery.