An overview of recent global experience with recovery plans for depleted marine resources and suggested guidelines for recovery planning


DOI: 10.1007/s11160-004-3770-2

Cite this article as:
Caddy, J. & Agnew, D. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries (2004) 14: 43. doi:10.1007/s11160-004-3770-2


Progress with stock recovery plans to date for depleted marine resources is reviewed, based on published and publicly available sources. Most plans began within the last two decades, so quantifying progress is difficult, but some 60 cases were found where a recovery effort had been explicitly tackled by either a closure or restrictive measures, and seven documented case studies were used to draw general conclusions on recovery procedures and to provide a list of considerations for best practice in recovery planning. More successes were documented for pelagic .sheries than demersals, especially with closures, while spontaneous recoveries of some depleted invertebrate resources seem related to reductions in predator pressure. Few shared, straddling or highly migratory stocks have been restored to date. Most successful recoveries occurred in the centre of the species geographical range and/or in favourable regimes. Success seems to depend on non-discretionary fishery control laws being applied. Depletions aggravated by unfavourable climatic regimes will be difficult to reverse, as illustrated by a simulation. Durations of recovery plans in particular depend on regime, and using stock information from favourable regimes to predict plan duration should be treated with caution. Although successful recoveries to date have tended to be decadal, a considerable proportion are still underway, and are likely to exceed this duration.


depletionmarine fisheriesrecovery planstock rebuilding

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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.D.J. AgnewLatinaItaly
  2. 2.Renewable Resources Assessment GroupImperial College, Royal School of MinesLondonUK