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Publication Details - Translating the terrestrial mitigation hierarchy to marine megafauna by-catch

Translating the terrestrial mitigation hierarchy to marine megafauna by-catch


E J Milner-Gulland, William Arlidge, Joseph Bull, Anthony Charles, Laurent Dagorn, Sonya Fordham, Joshua Graff Zivin, Martin Hall, Jeffrey Shrader, Niels Vestergaard, Chris Wilcox, Dale Squires, Serge Garcia - Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen; University of Kent, School of Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), Shark Advocates International, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California San Diego, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Southwest Fisheries Science Centre, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, Fisheries Expert Group






In terrestrial and coastal systems, the mitigation hierarchy is widely and increasingly used to guide actions to ensure that no net loss of biodiversity ensues from development. We develop a conceptual model which applies this approach to the mitigation of marine megafauna by-catch in fisheries, going from defining an overarching goal with an associated quantitative target, through avoidance, minimization, remediation to offsetting. We demonstrate the framework’s utility as a tool for structuring thinking and exposing uncertainties. We draw comparisons between debates ongoing in terrestrial situations and in by-catch mitigation, to show how insights from each could inform the other; these are the hierarchical nature of mitigation, out-of- kind offsets, research as an offset, incentivizing implementation of mitigation measures, societal limits and uncertainty. We explore how economic incentives could be used throughout the hierarchy to improve the achievement of by-catch goals. We conclude by highlighting the importance of clear agreed goals, of thinking beyond single species and individual jurisdictions to account for complex interactions and policy leakage, of taking uncertainty explicitly into account and of thinking creatively about approaches to by-catch mitigation in order to improve outcomes for conservation and fishers. We suggest that the framework set out here could be helpful in supporting efforts to improve by-catch mitigation efforts and highlight the need for a full empirical application to substantiate this.


Document Stats:

Release Date: January 2018
File Type: PDF [PDF]
File Size: 703 KB
Journal: Fish and Fisheries. 2018;1–15.


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