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Does Fleet Diversity Matter?

Fishery sustainability is a widespread global concern. While much attention has been paid to preserving biological diversity, which is known to influence ecosystem functioning, relatively little attention has been paid to the role of fishing fleet diversity - in gear, fishing grounds, timing, and target species. In a recent study in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences​, SFG post-doc Matt Burgess modeled the impacts of fleet diversity in both managed and unmanaged fisheries and found that fleet diversity tended to increase the positive impacts of management on both the ecological and economic aspects of the fishery; and that even without management, increasing fleet diversity tended to reduce overfishing of weak stocks. The study was featured on several news outlets, including a segment on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's The Fisheries Broadcast, and on Bren School news.