NCEAS Project 11704

Exploring compensatory mitigation and markets as mechanisms for resolving fisheries bycatch: Biodiversity conservation conflicts

  • Chris Wilcox
  • C. Josh Donlan

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group14th—20th May 2007Participant List  
Working Group17th—21st September 2007Participant List  
Working Group5th—12th March 2008Participant List  
Working Group10th—21st November 2008Participant List  

Abstract
The social and economic importance of fisheries and the biological realities of its impacts results in cardinal tensions over ocean resources. Fisheries provide approximately 16% of all protein consumed by humans and are valued at US$82 billion annually. However, eight percent of the global fishery catch is bycatch which is discarded; resulting in major impacts on marine systems. Increasingly, institutions are pressuring for sustainable management of species impacted by fisheries. Where bycatch cannot be avoided, fishery closures are being implemented, often driven by lawsuits, with costly outcomes for society. An offset approach to this conflict could facilitate high value uses of biological resources while making conservation gains for threatened species. Taking seabirds as an example, fishers could be levied for bycatch and capital transferred to fund conservation actions on breeding colonies (e.g., the removal of invasive mammals¿the primary threat to seabirds worldwide). A preliminary analysis has shown eradication of invasive predators can be 12 times more effective from an economic cost-conservation benefit perspective in comparison with fisheries closures. In addition, transferable bycatch fees, which could increase with endangerment, also provide individual incentives for avoiding bycatch, the most effective mechanism for sustainable management of fisheries. We are developing a general framework for this approach, using seabirds and sea turtles as case studies. Given limited conservation dollars, compensatory mitigation provides an opportunity to address a global concern, maximize the return on investment of conservation interventions, and forge an alliance between conservation and fisheries organizations, circumventing costly and socio-politically damaging battles over bycatch conflicts.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Report or White Paper Donlan, C. Josh; Heneman, Burr. 2007. Maximizing return on investments for island restoration witha focus on seabird conservation. Commonweal Ocean Policy Program, Advance Conservation Strategies 2007. Santa Cruz, California. (Online version)
Report or White Paper Donlan, C. Josh; Wilcox, Chris. 2008. A path to a return on investment framework for island restoration with a focus on seabirds. Commonweal Ocean Polocy Program 2008.
Journal Article Donlan, C. Josh; Wilcox, Chris. 2008. Integrating invasive mammal eradications and biodiversity offsets for fisheries bycatch: Conservation opportunities and challenges for seabirds and sea turtles. Biological Invasions. Vol: 10. Pages 1053–1060. (Online version)
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2008. (Title Not Provided). Alcoa Advancing Sustainability Conference. Barcelona, Spain.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2008. (Title Not Provided). Alcoa Intalco Works. Washington DC.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2008. (Title Not Provided). World Conservation Union Congress. Barcelona, Spain.
Report or White Paper Donlan, C. Josh; Wilcox, Chris. 2009. Maximizing return on investments for island restoration and seabird conservation in southeast Alaska, USA and British Columbia, Canada. Advanced Conservation Strategies. Pages 1-31.
Report or White Paper Donlan, C. Josh; Wilcox, Chris; Mandel, James; Rodriquez, L. 2009. Opportunities for using debt investment to link livelihood improvement and environmental conservation initiatives: A case study examining the tropical Pacific. Advanced Conservation Strategies. Pages 1-35.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2009. (Title Not Provided). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Washington DC.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2009. (Title Not Provided). Amherst College. Massachusetts, USA.
Journal Article Donlan, C. Josh; Mandel, James; Wilcox, Chris. 2009. Why environmentalism needs high finance. SEED Magazine. Vol: 22. Pages 53-55.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). Brown University. Rhode Island, USA.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). Annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology. Alberta, Canada.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). 30th Annual Sea Turtle Symposium. Goa, India.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). The World Bank. Washington DC.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). Ecosystem Market Conference.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). Marketplace of innovative financial solutions for development (World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Agence Française de Développement). Paris, France.
Presentations Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. (Title Not Provided). Texas A&M University.
Journal Article Donlan, C. Josh; Wingfield, Dana; Crowder, Larry B.; Wilcox, Chris. 2010. Using expert opinion surveys to rank threats to endangered species: A case study with sea turtles. Conservation Biology.
Journal Article Lavers, Jennifer; Wilcox, Chris; Donlan, C. Josh. 2010. Bird demographic responses to predator removal programs. Biological Invasions. Vol: 12. Pages 3839-3859.
Journal Article Mandel, James; Donlan, C. Josh; Wilcox, Chris; Cudney-Bueno, Richard; Pascoe, Sean; Tulchin, Drew. 2009. Debt investment as a tool for value transfer in biodiversity conservation. Conservation Letters. Vol: 2(5). Blackwell Publishing. Pages 233-239.
Journal Article Mandel, James; Donlan, C. Josh; Armstrong, Jonathan. 2010. A derivative approach to endangered species conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 8(1). Pages 44-49.
Journal Article Pascoe, Sean; Wilcox, Chris; Donlan, C. Josh. 2011. Biodiversity offsets: A cost-effective interim solution to seabird bycatch in fisheries?. PLoS ONE. Vol: 6(10). Pages e25762-e25762. (Online version)
Journal Article Wilcox, Chris; Donlan, C. Josh. 2007. Resolving economic inefficiencies: Compensatory mitigation as a solution to fisheries bycatch-biodiversity conservation conflicts. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Vol: 5(6). Pages 325-331.
Journal Article Wilcox, Chris; Donlan, C. Josh. 2009. Need for a clear and fair evaluation of biodiversity offsets for fisheries bycatch. Conservation Biology. Vol: 23(3). Pages 770 - 772.