Blue Whiting: A New Approach to Management

by Zack Good,
Marine conservation student, RJD Intern

The blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassu) is a medium-sized fish distributed throughout the northeastern Atlantic Ocean (Figure 1).  It feeds mostly on zooplankton and smaller fish and also serves as prey for larger fish.  As far as humans are concerned, it is a significant source of both income and food.  It is important that this fishery be studied, as it is currently overexploited, much like the 88% of European fish stocks fished beyond maximum sustainable yield (Commission of the European Communities).

Sebastián Villasante studied the blue whiting fishery in Spain in his 2012 paper, concentrating on Galicia, Spain, to assess the state of the fishery from both a biological/ecological perspective and a human perspective.  By synthesizing these two perspectives he is able to look at the fishery in a different way than previous fisheries management regimes have.  Villasante even provides recommendations for management changes in the future.

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