Managing marine genetic diversity: Time for action?

Kenchington, E., Heino, M. ORCID:, & Nielsen, E.E. (2003). Managing marine genetic diversity: Time for action? ICES Journal of Marine Science 60 (6) 1172-1176. 10.1016/S1054-3139(03)00136-X.

Full text not available from this repository.


The 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity has established an international framework for broader conservation objectives for the management of ocean use activities (cf. Sainsbury and Sumaila, 2003). The Convention calls for preservation of biological diversity, including genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, thereby creating a demand for developing management forms that can cope with this issue. A number of initiatives have been developed to address this and other related international agreements. Notably, Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management (EBFM; cf. Brodziak and Link, 2002; Sainsbury and Sumaila, 2003) has emerged as a holistic approach to maintaining ecosystems and sustainable fisheries. EBFM should incorporate all levels of diversity, but in practice has focused on species and ecosystem diversity (e.g., Brodziak and Link, 2002). The application of EBFM must be broadened to include conservation of genetic diversity, including intraspecific diversity, which are not necessarily protected by maintaining diversity at higher levels (cf. Kenchington, 2003).

Scientific justification for conserving genetic diversity stems from several sources including: (1) maintaining adaptability of natural populations; (2) the future utility of genetic resources for medical and other purposes; and (3) changes in life history traits and behaviour that influence the dynamics of fish populations, energy flows in the ecosystem, and ultimately, sustainable yield. The challenge is to formulate appropriate management actions for the preservation of genetic diversity (e.g., Sainsbury and Sumaila, 2003). This will require consensus on what it is we are trying to preserve (e.g., alleles, traits, population structure) and some means of assessing genetic status. This paper endeavours to outline a process to develop management advice for marine genetic diversity. We challenge fish conservation geneticists to consider their work in a more applied context so that management actions can be developed to preserve genetic resources.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genetic diversity; Management; Monitoring; Reference points; Selection
Research Programs: Adaptive Dynamics Network (ADN)
Bibliographic Reference: ICES Journal of Marine Science; 60(6):1172-1176 (2003)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:15
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item