chapter  12
29 Pages

Management of fresh waters for fish

WithMark Everard, Jack Perks

Management plans focused on various species and groups of plants or animals are familiar in the world of nature conservation. A specific focus has strengths, particularly in relation to rare and vulnerable species with exacting requirements. Management plans for fish other than those scheduled under nature conservation measures are, for reasons referred to a number of times, often seen as something other than promotion of ecosystem health. However, fishery management has for a long time been going through a transition. Rather than seeking short-term fixes related to symptoms of low perceived fish stocks, there has been a progressive transition towards proactive ecosystem management to build up the resilience of fish stocks through measures such as habitat enhancement. Unconstrained commercial, recreational and subsistence fishing has the potential, if exceeding natural production rates, to threaten freshwater fish populations. Some fishing techniques are potentially destructive, resulting in irreversible damage to aquatic habitats and ecosystems if used inappropriately.