Spatial structure of commercial marine fisheries in NW Mexico

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Marine fisheries in NW Mexico are currently managed as a single group. Our 2011 analysis (Erisman et al., 2011) shows that a better approach would be to manage the group by dividing it into eight separate subregions.

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Conclusions

Splitting the traditional fisheries management into 5 separate subregions based on their catch histories makes an ecosystem-based approach to management easier. Fishing regimes can be based on subregional local catch statistics and local fishermen can be governed by local rules, more personal to their situation.

The success of any proposed changes in fisheries management requires significant improvements in the resolution, accuracy, and consistency of official landings data and statistics. Our study is a prime example of the ease with which current large scale management can be evaluated and subsequently split into finer scales in order to improve the applicability and utility of fisheries management.