Sustainable fishing of inland waters
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Sustainability in fisheries has over the past decades evolved from a single species maximization concept to covering ecosystem and biodiversity considerations. This expansion of the notion, together with increased evidence that the targeted removal of selected components of the fish community may have adverse ecological consequences, poses a serious dilemma to the conventional fisheries management approach of protecting juveniles and targeting adults. Recently, the idea of balanced harvest, i.e., harvesting all components in the ecosystem in proportion to their productivity, has been promoted as a unifying solution in accordance with the ecosystem approach to fisheries, but this will require a fundamental change to management. In this paper, we review the objectives, theoretical background, and practicalities of securing high yielding fisheries in inland waters, with empirical examples from tropical freshwater fisheries which satisfy the extended objectives of minimal impact on community and ecosystem structure. We propose a framework of ecological indicators to assess these objectives.