Mapping fisheries onto marine ecosystmes for regional oceanic and global integrations

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Large Marine Ecosystems of the World
G. Hempel and K. Sherman (Editors)
0 2003 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved


Mapping Fisheries onto Marine Ecosystems for Regional,
Oceanic and Global Integrations
Reg Watson,Daniel Pauly, Villy Christensen, ainer Froese, lan Longhurst, Trevor Platt,
ShubhaSathyendranath,Kenneth Sherman, ohn O'Reilly, and Peter Celone

ABSTRACTResearch on ecosystem-based fisheries management, marine biodiversity
conservation, nd other marine fields requiresappropriate maps of the major natural
regions of the oceans,and their ecosystems.A global ocean classification system
proposed by T. Platt and S. Sathyendranathand implemented by A.R. Longhurst,
defined largely by physical parameters that subdivide the oceansinto four 'biomes'
and57 'biogeochemical rovinces' (BGCPs),s merged with the systemof 64 Large
Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) identified by K. Sherman and colleagues as
transboundarygeographiccoastaland watershedunits. This arrangementenhances
eachof the systems,and renders them mutually compatible. LMEs are ecologically
defined to serve as a framework for the assessment nd managementof coastal
fisheries andenvironments including watersheds,while the BGCPshave physical
definitions, including borders defined by natural features,and extend over open
oceanregions. The combined mapping will, for example,allow the computation of
GI5-derived properties such as temperature,primary production, and their analysis
in relation to fishery abundancedata for any study area in the combinedsystem. A
furtheruseful aspectof the integration is that it allows for the quantification, even
within the EEZs of various countries, of the distribution of marine features (e.g.
primary production, coral reef areas)so far not straightforwardly associatedwith
different coastalstates. Applications to shelf,coral reef and oceanicfisheries,and to
the mapping of marine biodiversity are briefly discussed.
INTRODUCTIONThere is broad consensusn the scientific community that fisheries management
should be ecosystem-based,ut very little agreementas to what this means (NRC
1999). Also, there is a need to analyze biodiversity data at larger scalesthan have
generallybeen done so far, as demonstratedby e.g_, alaet al. (2000),for terrestrial


R Wa/son e/ aI.

and freshwater biomes. Clearly,when dealing with such complex issues,the first
task, as in all science-based pproachesto a problem, is to define the object(s)of
concern, and to develop a consistent method to show how these objects are
interrelated. Here, the objectsare the marine ecosystems ithin which fisheries and
biodiversity are to be analyzed,and marine life in general,is embedded.
Fortunately, readting a consensusn the classificationof marine ecosystems ay be
relatively easy,given the compatibility, originally noted in Pauly et al. (2000), f two
classificationschemes roposedin recentyears. Both of theseintegrate an enormous
amount of empirical data, and are sensitiveto previous analysesof marine ecology.
The two schemes re: (1) the global systemof 57'biogeochemicalprovinces' (BGCPs)
adeveloped by Platt and Sathyendranath (1988, 1993), Platt et al. (1991, 1992),
Sathyendranath et al. (1989), Sathyendranath and Platt (1993),implemented by
Longhurst (1995,1998), nd defined at scalesappropriate for understandingphysical
forcing of ocean primary production and related processes; nd (2) the 64 coastal
Large Marine EcosystemsLMEs),incrementallydefined by Sherman nd co-workers(
(Shermanand Alexander, 19$6,1989;Shermanet al. 1990,1993;Shermanand Duda
2001; lac 2002),whose ecologically-baseddefinition, size, coastal locations and
ecologically-based definitions make them particularly suitable for addressing
managementssues,notably thosepertaining to fisheries on continental shelves,and
coastal area management(Shermanand Duda 1999a; 1999b,Duda and Sherman...
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