World Aquaculture Society Meetings

Add To Calendar 21/02/2017 11:30:0021/02/2017 11:50:00America/ChicagoAquaculture America 2017Using Individual-Based Models to determine OPTIMAL harvest reduction and stock enhancement to minimize genetic impacts during restoration of wild cobia populations Room 7The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY

Using Individual-Based Models to determine OPTIMAL harvest reduction and stock enhancement to minimize genetic impacts during restoration of wild cobia populations

Tanya L. Darden*, Chris J. Katalinas, John D. Robinson, and Michael R. Denson
 
Marine Resources Research Institute
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Charleston, SC 29412
dardent@dnr.sc.gov

Cobia is the target of a well-developed recreational fishery in South Carolina. Research from our lab has shown that the inshore spawning aggregation of cobia in Port Royal Sound is genetically distinct from offshore groups, and recent estimates of inshore abundance are indicative of steep declines. Concerns over the status of the inshore cobia population in SC have been raised by a diverse group of stakeholders, including state resource managers, recreational fishermen, and charter boat captains. The combined evidence for declining abundance necessitates conservation action, potentially including both changes in regulations and stocking. Little information is available to guide the relative roles of stock enhancement and harvest reductions to facilitate recovery of this population.  From a genetic perspective, care is needed to insure that recovery efforts maintain both genetic diversity and effective population size, as both are important for the long-term adaptability of the population. Thus, guidance is needed to identify the best responsible conservation and restoration strategies for SC's inshore cobia population. Our project has specifically addressed this need by modeling the demographic and genetic outcomes of a range of possible management alternatives using both harvest reduction and stock enhancement strategies. The incorporation of quantitative predictions derived from our simulation model to guide comprehensive restoration activities constitutes a significant advancement in fisheries management.

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