Ecosystem management: Proposal for undertaking a coordinated fishing and research experiment at selected sites around Antarctica
This paper is presented to provide a basis for discussion of the experimental management approach. The experimental approach should enable management guidelines to be based on the best available scientific advice derived from experience and scientific research. Several criteria are suggested as a guide in selecting suitable sites for management experiments. An example experiment site, Prydz Bay, is discussed in detail. The proposed experiment in the Prydz Bay is in two phases, each of five years duration. During the first phase the level and type of fishing effort should be held constant while the ecology of the site is documented, population levels and trends of the target and key consumer species assessed and complementary research undertaken to further refine a conceptual and quantitative ecological model of the experimental site. In the second phase of the experiment the system could be manipulated through planned variation to the fishing pressure and, possibly, by the co-harvesting of selected consumer species. The effects of this manipulation would be studied to establish relationships between key members of the community and the results used to develop a plan of management for that sub-system.