Science Advisory Report 2006/023

A Harvest Strategy Compliant with the Precautionary Approach

Summary

  • The Precautionary Approach framework prescribes three stock status zones.
  • The Limit reference point is the stock level below which productivity is sufficiently impaired to cause serious harm to the resource but above the level where the risk of extinction becomes a concern. The zone below the Limit reference point is called the Critical zone.
  • The Upper stock reference point is the stock level threshold below which the removal rate is reduced. The stock status zone above the Limit reference point but below the Upper stock reference is called the Cautious zone. The stock status zone above the Upper stock reference is called the Healthy zone.
  • The Removal reference is the maximum acceptable removal rate.
  • The removal rate is the ratio of all human induced removals and total exploitable stock size.
  • In the Healthy zone, the removal rate should not exceed the Removal reference.
  • In the Cautious zone, fisheries management actions should promote stock rebuilding towards the Healthy zone. The removal rate should not exceed the Removal reference.
  • In the Critical zone, fishery management actions must promote stock growth.  Removals by all human sources must be kept to the lowest possible level.

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