Fisheries Management

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Fisheries Management

Managing fish populations is critical to regions that depend on fishing for export or local consumption. The interdisciplinary field of fisheries management combines ecology, economics, sociology, and policy, among others, to sustain ecosystems, biological diversity, human food security, and livelihoods.

Students engage with multiple stakeholders to conceptualize the complexity of local, regional and global fishing industries. Research contributes to policies that aim to balance the sustainability of fish populations and diverse livelihoods.



Bocas del Toro does not have a strong written account of its fisheries practices. Our research aims to better understand the state of fisheries in the region, particularly as it relates to the health of marine ecosystems and food security. Students will interview and interact with local fishers in the field and at our Center. In addition, students conduct transects near mangroves and in coral reef and seagrass habitat to assess abundance and diversity of fishes.


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The biology and ecology of commercially important species (conch, lobster, and grouper) are covered in class. Additionally, students participate in research aimed at assessing the spatial ecology of sharks and informing the design of Marine Protected Areas. For a holistic view of fisheries management, students analyze the costs and benefits of species protection, fishing techniques, and market dynamics.


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