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Long-term projections of eastern oyster populations under various management scenarios.
Jordan, SJ; Coakley, JM
Time series of fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data Were used to parameterize a model of oyster population dynamics for Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Model parameters are (1) fishing mortality, estimated front differences between predicted and reported landings scaled to a fishery-independent estimate of exploitation rated (2) natural mortality, estimated from the ratio of dead to live oysters in fishery-independent surveys: (3) recruitment. estimated from annual changes in the market oyster stock and total mortality rates, and (4) carrying capacity. estimated from predicted densities of oysters ill the absence of either exploitation or excess mortality front parasitic diseases. Multiplied by charted areas of high-quality and marginal habitat. The model predicts continuing decline in population abundance and biomass in the absence of significant management intervention. Moderate decreases in fishing mortality alone or in combination with increases in recruitment through stock enhancement. could reverse recent population trends resulting in a larger population and improved harvests within 1-2 decades, even if currently high rates of natural mortality are sustained.
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