An Evaluation of Harvest Control Methods for Fishery Management
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Fisheries managers seek to maintain sustainable fisheries production, but successful management often requires the pursuit of multiple biological, ecological, and socioeconomic objectives simultaneously. Fisheries managers must choose among a broad range of harvest control methods (HCMs) to meet management objectives. This review identifies strengths and weaknesses of eight HCMs and evaluates their ability to meet a multitude of common biological, ecological, and socioeconomic management objectives such as protecting spawning biomass, reducing bycatch, and sustaining fishers’ profit. Evidence suggests that individual HCMs often fail to meet management objectives and may unintentionally create incentives to race to fish, discard catch and overcapitalize fishing operations. These limitations can be overcome by strategically combining multiple controls or incorporating rights-based and spatial management.