Document Detail

Biomass, size, and trophic status of top predators in the Pacific Ocean.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17170304     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Fisheries have removed at least 50 million tons of tuna and other top-level predators from the Pacific Ocean pelagic ecosystem since 1950, leading to concerns about a catastrophic reduction in population biomass and the collapse of oceanic food chains. We analyzed all available data from Pacific tuna fisheries for 1950-2004 to provide comprehensive estimates of fishery impacts on population biomass and size structure. Current biomass ranges among species from 36 to 91% of the biomass predicted in the absence of fishing, a level consistent with or higher than standard fisheries management targets. Fish larger than 175 centimeters fork length have decreased from 5% to approximately 1% of the total population. The trophic level of the catch has decreased slightly, but there is no detectable decrease in the trophic level of the population. These results indicate substantial, though not catastrophic, impacts of fisheries on these top-level predators and minor impacts on the ecosystem in the Pacific Ocean.
John Sibert; John Hampton; Pierre Kleiber; Mark Maunder
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Science (New York, N.Y.)     Volume:  314     ISSN:  1095-9203     ISO Abbreviation:  Science     Publication Date:  2006 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-15     Completed Date:  2006-12-29     Revised Date:  2007-04-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404511     Medline TA:  Science     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1773-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Body Size
Conservation of Natural Resources
Food Chain*
Pacific Ocean
Perciformes / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Population Density
Population Dynamics
Predatory Behavior
Sharks* / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Tuna* / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Comment In:
Science. 2007 Apr 13;316(5822):200-1; author reply 200-1   [PMID:  17431154 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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