Predator identity and its indirect effects on fishing

By Laura Louon,
Marine conservation student

Few would be surprised by the fact that fishing causes a reduction in the population of the targeted fish. That is a direct effect of fishing. But nothing in the ocean happens in a vacuum; if you decrease the number of individuals of one species, you are bound to see an effect on at least one other species, if not the entirety of the ecological community. When developing holistic management and conservation plans, it is therefore imperative that managers also consider the indirect effects of decreasing the population of a species in an ecosystem as to make the correct decisions. But how do you measure, and hence predict, these indirect effects?

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