Tracking fish and fisheries for conservation and management

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Fisheries provide protein for over three billion people and add $150 billion to our economies each year. Their sustainability is critical for the health of marine ecosystem and the fishing communities that rely on them. Yet, our ability to monitor global fisheries -- to understand impacts on threatened species, to reduce illegal fishing and labor abuses, and to ensure compliance with fisheries management regulations that maintain their viability -- has been limited. Recent advances in satellite technology and big data analytics now permit direct, near real-time observation of most large fishing vessels (50-75% of vessels > 24 meters). In this dissertation, my collaborators and I track fish and fishing vessels to evaluate current approaches for marine conservation and management. In particular, I focus on the movements of fish and fisheries relative to large marine protected area (MPA) boundaries, which are vast (France-sized) portions of our ocean that have recently been closed to fishing for conservation purposes. First, I tracked grey reef sharks and industrial fishing vessels to evaluate the effectiveness of a large MPA for reef shark conservation, finding that large MPAs can effectively protect this important predator. Next, I increased our scope by tracking the response of industrial fisheries to five large MPAs in the Pacific Ocean. We find that large MPAs successfully keep industrial fishing effort low relative to surrounding regions, but that effort was already very low within most large MPAs prior to protection, informing discussions on what large MPAs can and cannot be expected to do. Finally, we use animal telemetry, habitat models, and vessel tracking to predict where commercially-important and/or threatened species of sharks and tunas overlap with international fisheries in the northeast Pacific Ocean. We identified hotspots of overlap and revealed that the vast majority of predicted overlap between these fish and fisheries is driven by a small number of nations, which may guide ongoing negotiations about how to effectively manage mobile species in international waters. Following these investigations, I argue that new technology -- often criticized for its role in increasing fisheries' efficiency and capacity for overfishing -- holds great potential for resolving current and future obstacles to sustainable fisheries.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2019; ©2019
Publication date 2019; 2019
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author White, Timothy Daniel
Degree supervisor De Leo, Giulio A
Thesis advisor De Leo, Giulio A
Thesis advisor Block, Barbara A. (Barbara Ann), 1958-
Thesis advisor Crowder, Larry B
Thesis advisor McCauley, Douglas J
Thesis advisor Micheli, Fiorenza
Degree committee member Block, Barbara A. (Barbara Ann), 1958-
Degree committee member Crowder, Larry B
Degree committee member McCauley, Douglas J
Degree committee member Micheli, Fiorenza
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Biology.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Timothy Daniel White.
Note Submitted to the Department of Biology.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2019.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2019 by Timothy Daniel White
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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