Dissertation Defense Seminar - Zachary Olsen
6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412
COASTAL AND MARINE SYSTEM SCIENCE PROGRAM
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - CORPUS CHRISTI
SUBJECT: Defining Essential Fish Habitat in an Ecosystem Context: Practical Identification and Relevance to Management
Ecosystem-based management of fisheries can be broadly defined as decision making in the context of the full ecosystem with the incorporation of habitat and trophic concepts. While there has been a widescale acceptance as to the importance of these concepts, there has been less movement towards their inclusion into decision making processes of fisheries management agencies. A primary reason for this is a lack of consensus as to the incorporation of these concepts into existing fisheries management paradigms.In this dissertation I propose and exemplify three broad directives that will aid in the movement from habitat concepts to quantification of these concepts to tangible application in management decision-making. These three broad directives are as follows: (1) a functional examination of habitat relationships, (2) quantifying the population-wide impacts of stage specific habitat relationships, and (3) identifying application to specific management scenarios. This framework both presents a proof of concept to justify habitat data collection and builds from specific applications to address explicit needs. As applications are recognized, decision support frameworks created, and data collected to fill identified gaps, we will begin to understand that the appearance of ecosystem-based management is as diverse as the ecosystems that they represent.