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2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Dr. Marie-Joëlle Rochet from IFREMER
Date:2/5/2008

ne environment conservation initiatives. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science administers the awards and today announced the 2008 Fellows, whose projects will be based in France, Australia, China, Canada, and Florida. (Learn more about the other new Fellows at www.pewoceanscience.org).

Bycatch and discards are recognized as a major problem in worldwide fisheries, generating huge amounts of waste and potentially disrupting food webs and degrading the marine ecosystem. Selective fishing methods that harvest only the desired usable fish have been widely viewed as effective to reduce bycatch, but this type of surgical species removal might disrupt the many feeding relationships underwater, known as the trophic structure.

Dr. Rochet is intrigued by the idea of even commercial fishing--across species and sizes--to maintain an optimal trophic structure, and said it could also be economically beneficial to fishermen. Whether todays bycatch could become tomorrows profit-maker while better preserving the ecosystem, remains to be determined. The question is, should we be encouraging research and policies that support more selective fishing methods, or, advocating for non-selective fishing with a better use of unwanted by-catch" Dr. Rochet said. Through this Fellowship, I will be able to explore this important question and provide guidance to fishery managers that is in the best interest of both commercial fisheries and ecosystem conservation.

Throughout 2008 and 2009, Dr. Rochet and her team will thoroughly examine fishing activities in three active commercial fisheries in France: the Southern Bay of Biscay in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, and the Seine and Somme bays in the English Channel. They will sample total catch onboard commercial vessels that use either fishing technique, and perform detailed analyses that will allow them to compare catch and community composition in the trawled, versus non-trawled,
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Contact: Kathryn Cervino
kcervino@miami.edu
212-756-0042
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert

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