NCEAS Product 5421

Kitchell, James F. 1997. Workshops on Apex Predators in Marine Systems: Final Report to NCEAS. (Abstract) (Online version)

Abstract

The world's marine and freshwater fisheries give strong evidence of extensive and continued overexploitation. That raises important questions about the role of fishing as a major ecological force that can substantially alter the demographic characteristics of targeted species and their role in a food web or ecosystem context. In an ecological sense, one can view fishery exploitation as a "press" experiment and the changes evoked by strong management actions as a "pulse" experiment. While the fishery catches may be monitored over time and offer the benefit of extensive, long-term data sets, the challenge is to find fishery-independent evidence of the suspected and larger-scale ecological effects. These workshops were organized by Jim Kitchell as part of his sabbatical appointment at NCEAS during the period of Jan.-June 1997. The following is a brief report on the first workshop held during 30 January-1 February 1997 at the NCEAS facilities in Santa Barbara. The general goal of this project is to: Evaluate the ecological effects of fishery exploitation on apex predators in marine systems and to deduce how those might be expressed in their food webs.