MR-250 Fishery Biology and Management

Course Description:  The marine fisheries are the mainstay for the economy of a number of nations. This course will provide students with a worldwide overview of the marine fishing industry. The fundamental principles in assessing and managing stocks will be covered. To this effect, fishing techniques, life histories of major exploited taxonomic groups, methods of collecting fisheries data, stock assessment techniques, and management efforts will be discussed. Estimation of population dynamics as age, growth, mortality, and abundance will be explored using basic computer programs during laboratory sessions.

  • Prerequisite Courses: A “C” or better in marine biology or oceanography and college algebra or instructor permission. It is strongly suggested that students undertake Introduction to Statistics beforehand or follow it in concomitance.

A.  PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLOs):
The student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of geological, geomorphological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanography.
  2. Apply fundamental knowledge of marine sciences towards identifying and critically analyzing, and outlining potential solutions for local, regional and global problems relating to marine systems.
  3. Apply the scientific process to formulate hypotheses, design experiments, and collect and analyze data from which valid scientific conclusions are drawn.
  4. Communicate effectively, in written and oral forms, utilizing the language and concepts of marine science.

B.  STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOs)- GENERAL:
The student will be able to:

  1. Relate the evolution of the world marine fisheries from ancient civilizations to the recent fishing trends.
  2. Discuss the limits of productivity of exploited biological resources
  3. Recognize, describe, and list the various taxonomic groups of marine species exploited on a commercial basis.
  4. Recognize and describe the major techniques and methods used in exploiting the marine resources.
  5. Identify the principal species or taxonomic groups landed in volume and value at the world, regional and local levels.
  6. Differentiate between a biological population, a unit-stock, and a cohort.
  7. Compare and contrast the Holistic and Analytical stock assessment models in population dynamics.
  8. Describe the sampling strategies used by observers on board in gathering the statistical fisheries data of the highly migratory species of the tropical Pacific and apply the methodology under simulated conditions.
  9. State and describe the major biological parameters used in stock assessment, notably: stock abundance, catch rates, fishing effort, growth, recruitment, mortality, and yield; and for each parameter be capable of applying the theoretical notions by solving a number of basic practical population dynamic problems.
  10. List and describe the needs for fisheries management; enumerate the stakeholders; and compare and contrast the management tools that can be adopted in assuring a sustainable development of the exploited resource.

SLO

PLO1

PLO2

PLO3

PLO4

1

I

D

 

D

2

I

D

 

D

3

I

D

 

D

4

 

D

 

D

5

 

D

 

D

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

C.  STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOs) – SPECIFIC:
The student will be able to:\

General SLO 1.  Relate the evolution of the world marine fisheries from ancient civilizations to the recent fishing trends.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

1.1 Define the field of “fisheries biology”.

Homework, class quiz, exam.

1.2 Relate and classify the major historical periods in the fisheries including the fisheries in ancient civilizations, the pre-industrial fisheries, the industrialization, and the control of the high seas.

Homework, class quiz, exam.

1.3 Describe the recent trends in the state of the world fisheries.

Homework, class quiz, exam.

General SLO 2. Discuss the limits of productivity of exploited biological resources.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

2.1 Sketch and comment the patterns of exploitation of a target stock.

Homework, class quiz, exam.

2.2 Furnish examples of species that have gone through the “boom and bust” cycle of exploitation

Homework, class quiz, exam.

General SLO 3.  Recognize, describe, and list the various taxonomic groups of marine species exploited on a commercial basis.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

3.1 List the major taxonomic groups of exploited marine species and their respective economic importance.

Homework, class quiz, exam

3.2 Describe the life histories of the main taxonomic groups of exploited marine species and discuss their distribution in space and time.

Homework, class quiz, video on life cycle of fish and shellfish

3.3 Distinguish the external and internal anatomical features of cartilaginous and bony fishes, plus a variety of local shellfish.

Laboratory assignment – dissection of specimens

3.4 Identify major local reef fish and oceanic target species along with a variety of local exploited shellfish

Laboratory assignment – using dichotomy keys to identify fish species
Laboratory assignment – visit a local fish market to identify the fish and shellfish on sale

General SLO 4.  Recognize and describe the major techniques and methods used in exploiting the marine resources.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

4.1 List the various gears and fishing methods used to exploit the marine resources; recognize between passive and active gear; and discuss their advantages, drawbacks and impacts on the marine environment.

Homework, quiz, exam
Laboratory assignment – visit the fishing port to identify the various type of vessel and gear used by the fishing fleet

General SLO 5.  Identify the principal species or taxonomic groups landed in volume and value at the world, regional, and local levels.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

5.1 List the major regional and international fishery bodies mandated to compile the fisheries statistical data, notably the fisheries sector of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), and the Fisheries Forum Agency (FFA).

Laboratory assignment – FAO, SPC and other statistical data basis

5.2 Find key statistical data of landed volumes and values by species or higher taxonomic groups, by country, and by region from the data base tools available on the web or at the COM-FSM library.

Home assignment; Laboratory assignment – Fisheries statistical data

 

General SLO 6.  Differentiate between a biological population, a unit-stock, and a cohort.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

6.1 Compare and contrast between the notions of biological population, unit-stock, and a cohort.

Homework, class quiz, and exam.

6.2  Describe the importance of clearly delimiting the unit-stock in fisheries assessment.

Homework, class quiz, and exam.

6.3  List the methods commonly used to identify a given unit-stock and describe their respective advantages and drawbacks.

Homework, class quiz, and exam.

 

General SLO 7.  Compare and contrast the Holistic and Analytical stock assessment models in population dynamics.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

7.1 List the biological parameters that are used to apply the holistic models and those that are needed when using the analytical models.

 

Throughout the lectures, the students will be reminded of the scientific approach used by fisheries biologists.

 

7.2 Compare both assessment approaches by highlighting the strength and weaknesses of each model.

Homequiz and class quiz and exams

General SLO 8.  Describe the sampling strategies used by observers on board in gathering the statistical fisheries data of the highly migratory species of the tropical Pacific and apply the methodology in practical laboratory sessions.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

8.1 List and demonstrate the length and weight measurements taken by target species by an observer on board.

Laboratory assignment – collect length and weight data of a target species at the fish market to study length weight relationships or use existing data taken from a databank and analyze the length weight relationship

8.2 Explain the content of the log sheet filed out by boat captains and their use in calculating the fishing effort.

Laboratory assignment – Use the official spreadsheet recommended by SPC – analyze its content

8.3 Explain the content of the various information logged during an observation trip aboard a commercial fishing vessel: notably the fishing effort; the exact fishing location; the total volume caught of the target species; the estimation of the by-catch …

Laboratory assignment – Use the official spreadsheet recommended by SPC – analyze its content

General SLO 9.  State the major biological parameters used in stock assessment, notably: stock abundance, catch rates, fishing effort, growth, recruitment, mortality, and yield; and for each parameter be capable of applying the theoretical notions by solving a number of basic practical population dynamics problems.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

9.1 Distinguish between absolute and relative abundance; describe the methods used to measure each one; and explain the close link to evaluating the total effort and the catch per unit effort.

Laboratory assignment – the student will be working on a number of population dynamic problems to this effect

9.2 Enumerate the techniques used to age individuals of a given species and use such information to draw growth curves mainly using the Von Bertalanffy growth curve model.

Laboratory assignment – extract otoliths and scales from a number of reef fish and estimate the age by counting the growth rings; relate age to length; apply the Von Bertalanffy model using a number of assigned problems

9.3 Enumerate the techniques used to define gear selectivity and describe how gear selectivity impacts recruitment into the fisheries.

Laboratory assignment – solve a number of population dynamic problems relative to gear selectivity

9.4 Apply the basic models used in estimating the total mortality of a given cohort and distinguish between natural and fishing mortality.

Laboratory assignment – solve a number of population dynamic problems relative to total mortality, fishing mortality and natural mortality

9.5 Relate how the above biological parameters can be integrated into a holistic model or an analytical model.

Home quiz, class quiz, exam

General SLO 10.  List and describe the needs for fisheries management; enumerate the stakeholders; and compare and contrast the management tools that can be adopted in assuring a sustainable development of the exploited resource.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment Strategies

10.1 Explain the importance of managing marine fisheries to prevent overexploitation and overcapitalization.

 

Home quiz, class quiz, exam

 

10.2 Enumerate the various stakeholders engaged in the marine fisheries and highlight the conflicts and concerns that arise.

Home quiz, class quiz, exam

10.2 Compare and contrast the management tools that are commonly adopted in managing marine resources.

Home quiz, class quiz, exam

D.  COURSE CONTENT
MARINE FISHERIES: AN INTRODUCTION

  1. Introduction
  2. History of Fisheries
  3. The Science of Fisheries
  4. Why Manage Fisheries
MARINE ECOLOGY AND PRODUCTION PROCESSES
  1. Productivity and Fisheries
  2. Transfer Along the Food Chain
  3. Global Distribution of the Fisheries

FISHED SPECIES, LIFE HISTORIES AND DISTRIBUTION

  1. The Classification of Organisms
  2. Major Groups of Fisheries Resource Species
  3. World Commercial Catches of Selected Fishes, Mollusks, Crustaceans and Other Taxonomic Groups

FISHING GEAR AND METHODS

  1. Passive Gear (Static Fishing Gear)
  2. Active Gear (Towed Fishing Gear)
  3. Other Fishing Techniques
  4. Bycatches and Discards Issues
  5. Conservation Methods

STOCK ASSESSMENT

  1. Stock or Unit Stock
  2. Distribution and Abundance
  3. Fishing Effort/Catch Per Unit Effort
  4. Growth
  5. Selectivity of Fishing Gear
  6. Recruitment
  7. Mortality

STOCK ASSESSMENT MODELS

  1. Holistic Models (Surplus Yield Models; Biomass Models)
  2. Analytic Models (Virtual Population Analysis; Yield per Recruit Models)

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

  1. Management Objectives and Strategies
  2. Fisheries Regulations
  3. Improving Management
  4. Managing Fisheries for Conservation

E.  METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
Instruction will involve lectures supported by detailed Powerpoint presentations. Hand-outs summarizing the lecture notes will be available at the start of each chapter to guide and complement note taking in class. The hand-outs will equally be useful for the home assignments and in preparing the class quizzes and exams. The laboratory sessions will complement the course and furnish hands-on activities, designed to enhance the student-centered learning process. During the laboratory sessions emphasis will be placed on exploring the observers on board sampling strategies and a number of population dynamic problems relative to the biological parameters used in fish stock assessment will be explored. Basic computer models will be used to solve the population dynamic problems.

F.  REQURIED TEXT(S) AND COURSE MATERIALS
King M. 2007. Fisheries Biology, Assessment and Management. 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing Oxford, UK. 382pp. (or most recent edition).

Each student must have a hand calculator with integrated statistical functions.  A number of the laboratory sessions will be held in the computer room as well.

G.  REFERENCE MATERIALS
Berrill, M. 1997. The Plundered Seas: Can the World’s Fish be Saved? Sierra Club Books. San Francisco, CA. (USA). 208pp.
Cailliet G., M.S. Love, and A.W. Ebeling. 1986. Fishes: A Field and Laboratory manual on Their Structure, Identification, and Natural History. Waveland Press, prospect Heights, Illinois. (USA)
FAO -----. FAO Fisheries Department Homepage. http://www.fao.org/fi/default.asp
FAO -----. FAO Statistics. http://fishbase.org/manual/fishbasefao_statistics00002679.htm
Government of Federated States of Micronesia. 1997. The Fishery Policy of the Federated States of Micronesia: Leading to Strengthening the Contribution of Commercial Fisheries to the Economy of FSM. Recommendations of the National Fisheries Summit of FSM held December 9-12, 1996. Palakir, Pohnpei, FSM. February 1997.
Haddon M. 2011. Modeling and Quantitative Methods in Fisheries. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (USA). (or most recent edition).
Jennings S., M.J. Kaiser & J.D. Reynolds. 2001. Marine Fisheries Ecology. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford (England) (or most recent edition).
Levinton J.S. 2001. Marine Biology. Function, Biodiversity,  Ecology. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. New York (USA). (or most recent edition).
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). 2002. Port Sampling Manual. Oceanic Fisheries Programme. SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia (updated version access electronically via the SPC website).
Other references and reading assignments covering various fishery biology and management issues will be given in class during the semester.

H.  INSTRUCTIONAL COSTS
Laboratory equipment/supplies must be purchased. A number of field trips necessitate bus to go to the fish markets. Some fish samples at the fish market may need to be bought for analysis. Costs vary over time for salary and fuel and fish samples. A rough estimate for costs is $500 per semester.

I.   EVALUATION
None

J.   CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
None

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