Date of Award

12-2013

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Oceanography

Advisor

Andrew Pershing

Second Committee Member

Yong Chen

Third Committee Member

Dan Holland

Abstract

Ecosystem-based fisheries managements have been in the works for the better part of the last two decades, but challenges to implementation arise in understanding the coupled nature of fishery interactions. I use a stage-structured model to map the interactions between three economically and ecologically important species: Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and American lobster (Homarus americanus). I first explore the dynamics of the three-species system by setting up three ecological scenarios: top-down, bottom-up, and a predator-prey loop. Outputs from these ecological scenarios are linked to a simple fisheries model, and I compare the potential profitability over a range of fishery configurations. I find predator-prey interactions to be an important factor regarding the capacity and productivity of a fishery. I uncover the potential for alternate stable states of the three-species bio-economic system, and highlight areas for further development of ecosystem level bioeconomic model.

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