Think of all of our projects as cogs in a machine. Ecosystem-based management is the theme that integrates all of our work. Ecosystem-based management is a philosophy entrenched in the Convention on Biological Diversity that acknowledges that elements of an ecosystem are linked. From our perspective, it means that we are trying to estimate abundance of whales and dolphins in part because we want to ensure that fisheries management leaves enough fish in the sea to account for predator needs. It means that we are mapping important habitats for marine mammals because we want to see the data used in ecosystem models that allocate fisheries quotas spatially, again to ensure that fisheries management zones match ecologically relevant scales. This will require great transboundary cooperation. It means that we want fisheries to measure and mitigate marine mammal bycatch. It means that we want to see our acoustic work incorporated into our marine spatial planning work. Ideally, it means that we’d like to see salmon fishing quotas such that killer whale’s caloric needs are more than met – that there is enough salmon left over to leave killer whales resilient to disturbance from human activities.
November 28, 2010