Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (2020)

DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2019-0386


A Management Strategy Evaluation is used to estimate success at achieving conservation goals for marine mammals while also aiming to minimize impacts on commercial fisheries. It is intended to improve understanding of US import rules that require nations exporting fish and fish products to the US to adhere to marine mammal bycatch standards “comparable” to those used by the US. The MSE framework is applied, for illustrative purposes, to export fisheries in Iceland that impact harbor porpoises, harbor seals and grey seals. Several management strategies are evaluated. The harbor porpoise population is estimated to be close to or above its Maximum Net Productivity Level (MNPL), and, according to the model, will continue to increase even if current levels of human-caused mortality are unchanged. In contrast, the grey seal and harbor seal populations are below MNPL, and bycatch mortality in the lumpfish fishery will need to be reduced to allow them to recover to MNPL.