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Current research projects using the RAM Legacy database:

Hits, Misses & False Alarms: reconciling differences between conservation and fisheries perspectives on the status of marine fishes

  • Building upon earlier research by Nick Dulvy and Jack Rice, this project led by Trevor Davies and Julia Baum uses the new RAM Legacy database, along with newly collated life history data, to examine when IUCN Red List criteria for 'threatened' species and fisheries criteria for 'overfished' species align (=hits), when they do not (=misses), and when conservation criteria may sound false alarms. Learn more about this research here. Status: In review.

Recovery rates in marine fishes: are conservation and fisheries perspectives really all that different?

  • Led by Julia Baum, Phil Neubauer, Olaf Jensen, and Jeff Hutchings, this research examines magnitudes and rates of recovery/rebuilding in overexploited marine populations using the new RAM Legacy database from both a conservation perspective (based on % changes in population abundance, as in IUCN Red List criterion A) and from a fisheries perspective (using reference points). We also examine the influence of various factors on recovery/rebuilding rates, including fishing mortality, management regime, and life history characteristics. Status: In prep.

The portfolio effect

  • Led by Olaf Jensen, this research uses the new RAM Legacy database to examine the evidence for the portfolio effect, namely if more diverse ecosystems have a more steady supply of fisheries productivity.  Learn more about this research here.

How sustainable is ecolabelled seafood?

  • Led by Nicolas Gutierrez, Sarah Valencia and Trevor Branch (and many others). Compares the status and performance of stocks that have been certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, with those that are uncertified, and those that applied to the pre-certification process and received low preliminary scores. Status: In review at PLoS ONE.

Biological, economic, and management drivers of fishery performance: a global meta-analysis of tuna and billfish stocks

  • Led by Trevor Branch, Olaf Jensen, Ray Hilborn, Alan Haynie (and others). Examines global status and trends of tuna and billfish stocks, explains differences in status used covariates including management, biological, and economic parameters. Status: in prep.

The future of fish

  • Led by Trevor Branch and Boris Worm. Compares the overall status and trends of global fish stocks from FAO status reports and the RAM Legacy database. Status: in prep.

Effects of catch share management systems

  • Tim Essington and Michael Melnychuk are comparing fisheries managed with catch share systems (i.e., individual quota allocations like ITQs, enterprise allocations, fishing co-operatives) and fisheries managed with other forms of catch controls in terms of their ability to meet management targets for exploitation rates and biomass.  This work involves two general approaches: time series analyses and snapshot analyses.  Related work involves asking which particular attributes of catch share systems are associated with fisheries being better able to meet management targets.

Variability among fishery management systems and consequences for biological, social, and economic performance indicators

  • Ray Hilborn and Michael Melnychuk are compiling a fisheries management database that contains information on a stock-by-stock or fishery-by-fishery basis about how management systems and fishing fleets operate.  This information is collected through interviews with fishery managers or industry representatives and covers biological, economic, and social aspects of the stocks and fisheries.  This database is paired with biological time series data to ask what particular aspects of management systems tend to lead to more successful outcomes for fish stocks, with respect to management targets.

How informative are landings data about global stock collapse?

  • Jim Thorson, Trevor Branch, and Olaf Jensen are comparing instances of stock collapse identified using biomass data and targets in the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Database and fishery collapse identified using landings timeseries data in the FAO landings database.  They are evaluating whether landings data are informative about stock collapse, and how landings data can best be used to evaluate global fishery status.

How does body size and taxonomy affect the shape of the surplus production process?

  • Jim Thorson, Jason Cope, Trevor Branch, and Olaf Jensen are using stock assessment estimates from the RAM Legacy Stock Assessment Database to conduct a meta-analysis of the Pella-Tomlinson surplus production model. Patterns in the  Pella-Tomlinson  shape parameter are explored based on taxonomic order and maximum length.  This information could be used to distinguish between Schaefer and Fox surplus production models, and casts light regarding compensatory processes in marine fishes.
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