Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

An Approach to Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management

By James N. Sanchirico, Martin D. Smith and Douglas W. Lipton


Marine scientists and policymakers are encouraging ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), but there is limited guidance on how to operationalize the concept. We adapt financial portfolio theory as a method for EBFM that accounts for species interdependencies, uncertainty, and sustainability constraints. Illustrating our method with routinely collected data available from the Chesapeake Bay, we demonstrate the gains from taking into account species variances and covariances in setting species total allowable catches. We find over the period from 1962–2003 that managers could have increased the revenues from fishing and reduced the variance by employing ecosystem frontiers in setting catch levels.ecosystem-based fishery management, portfolio, trophic modeling, precaution

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2006). 14 Resources for the Future
  2. (1928). 15 Resources for the Future
  3. (2002). 16 Resources for the Future
  4. (1974). 17 Resources for the Future
  5. (2005). 18 Resources for the Future
  6. (2001). A Deep-water Dispersal Corridor for Adult Female Blue Crabs in Chesapeake Bay.
  7. (2002). Accounting for Structural Uncertainty to Facilitate Precautionary Fishery Management: Illustration with Namibian Orange Roughy.
  8. (2003). America's Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change. A Report to the Nation.
  9. (2004). An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century.
  10. (1999). Application of the Precautionary Approach in the National Standard Guidelines for Conservation and Management of Fisheries in the United States.
  11. (2006). Blue Crab 2005: Status of the Chesapeake Population and Its Fisheries.
  12. (2002). Blue Crabs and Controversy on the Chesapeake Bay: A Cultural Model for Understanding Watermen’s Reasoning about Blue Crab Management.
  13. (1987). Co-Integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing.
  14. (1999). Distribution of Atlantic Menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus, Purse-seine Sets and Catches from Southern New England to North Carolina,
  15. (1970). Dynamic Economic Models of Fishing.
  16. (1998). Ecological Fisheries Management Using Individual Transferable Share Quotas.
  17. (1992). Economics of Molluscan Introductions and Transfers: The Chesapeake Bay Dilemma.
  18. (2002). Ecosystem-based Fishery Management: What It Is and How Can We Do It?
  19. (1998). Environmental Variability Effects on Marine Fisheries: Four Case Histories.
  20. (1998). Fishing Down Marine Food Webs.
  21. (2006). Fishing through Marine Food Webs.
  22. (1986). Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity.
  23. (2004). Getting the Right Answer from the Wrong Model: Evaluating the Sensitivity of Multi-Species Fisheries Advice to Uncertain Species Interactions.
  24. (1985). Harvest Policies and Nonmarket Valuation in a PredatorPrey System.
  25. (2003). Harvesting in an Eight-species Ecosystem.
  26. (2001). Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems.
  27. (1998). Implementing the Precautionary Principle in Fisheries Management Through Marine Reserves.
  28. (1998). Institutions for Marine Ecosystems: Economic Incentives and Fishery Management.
  29. (2003). Interaction Strength Combinations and the Overfishing of a Marine Food Web.
  30. (1980). Macroeconomics and Reality.
  31. (1990). Mathematical Bioeconomics: The Optimal Management of Renewable Resources, 2 nd Edition.
  32. (1996). New Zealand's ITQ System: Have the First Eight Years Been a Success or a Failure? Reviews in
  33. (1979). Optimal Escapement Levels in Stochastic and Deterministic Harvesting Models.
  34. (1975). Optimal Harvest Strategies for Salmon in Relation to Environmental Variability and Uncertain Production Parameters.
  35. (1983). Optimal Harvesting of Ecologically Interdependent Fish Species.
  36. (1986). Optimal Recovery Paths for Perturbations of Trophic Level Bioeconomic Systems.
  37. (1997). Portfolio Fishing.
  38. (1952). Portfolio Selection.
  39. (2001). Precautionary approach in Fisheries Management: The Devil Is in the Details. Trends in
  40. (2005). Predicting Optimal Targeting Strategies in Multispecies Fisheries: A Portfolio Approach.
  41. (2006). Report of Status of Fisheries.
  42. (1996). RiskMetrics—Technical Document, 4 th Edition.
  43. (2002). Scientific and Management Uncertainty Create Competing Precautionary Needs for Fishery Managers.
  44. (2005). Scientific Consensus Statement on Marine Ecosystem-Based Management.
  45. (2004). Thalassorama: Navigating U.S. Fishery Management into the 21 st Century.
  46. (1975). The Economics of Fishing and Modern Capital Theory: A Simplified Approach.
  47. (1998). The Limits of Exploitation: A Precautionary Approach.
  48. (2002). The Precautionary Approach and ‘Burden of Proof’ Challenges in Fishery Management.
  49. (2001). The Precautionary Approach and Risk Management: Can They Increase the Probability of Successes in Fishery Management?
  50. (2002). The Precautionary Approach in Application from a Manager’s Perspective.
  51. (1994). The Precautionary Principle: Its Implications in Capture Fisheries Management.
  52. (2003). Trophic Portfolios in Marine Fisheries: A Step Towards Ecosystem Management. Selected Paper, American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meetings,
  53. (2001). What Was Natural in Coastal Oceans?
  54. (1996). Why Fisheries Collapse and What To Do About It.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.