MMPA vs. fishery sustainability
Posted by Merit McCrea | California, United States
The Marine Mammal Protection Act and other similar legislation protects top predators. Fisheries and rebounding populations of these predators compete for common resources, and while fisheries can be restrained, wild predators, cannot legally.
What will be the result when these two competing agents collide? Will any level of fishing still be sustainable when prey organisms evolved to withstand only the effect of their natural predators are once again faced with the full force of maximum predator populations?
How will managers decide between fisheries and nature if such a choice became necessary? Via MPA based allocation for natural predators and lethal removal elsewhere? No action, forcing fisheries to face depredation pressures(rendering some hook and line methods ineffective), and predators a cyclical Malthusian demise during lean times?