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Pacific Sardines

What are the ecosystem impacts of Pacific sardine harvest?

Photo Credit: NOAA Sanctuary Program
Photo credit: Erwin Poliakoff
Photo credit: Erwin Poliakoff Flickr:


Ecosystem approaches to managing the world’s fisheries are hampered by the lack of appropriate analytical frameworks and modeling tools.


Decision makers want to know which policies are most robust over the full suite of alternative scenarios, given uncertainty about the future. Can using multiple models move us closer to implementing ecosystem-based fisheries management by evaluating the ecosystem impacts of existing harvest rules?





What are the ecosystem impacts of Pacific sardine harvest rules?

Our knowledge of food web processes in marine ecosystems continues to grow. Information is available describing local and regional-scale oceanographic drivers of primary and secondary productivity. The Working Group’s aim is to develop an integrated modeling approach to evaluating harvest effects on the target stock, the fisheries that depend on this resource, and on the dynamics of the west coast ecosystem.

Photo credit: Bill Gracey


The aim of this Working Group is to investigate how complex models can be used to inform Pacific sardine management on the west coast of North America.

Scientists and managers are integrating models to explore key environmental and management consequences of sardine harvest. The goals are to:

  • synthesize the diverse transdisciplinary information relevant to sardine management;
  • analyze possible ecosystem or population responses to sardine harvest and environmental drivers;
  • explain the strengths, limitations, and caveats of alternative modeling approaches;
  • provide the Pacific Fisheries Management Council with knowledge in a manner that promotes more informed decision making.


Working Group members are using multiple models in tandem to evaluate ecosystem consequences of the harvest control rules.

This working group will answer the questions:

How does the harvest control rule impact 

  • the sardine stock, yield, and revenue? 
  • sardine predators and prey? 
  • ecosystem metrics?



Seattle, WA

Meeting #2

Seattle, WA

Meeting #3

Seattle, WA

Working Group Members


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