Project 3.1 – Fishery closures in ecosystem-based management


Closures have been a fisheries management tool for centuries. Historically, most closures were seasonal, to protect spawning adults or young fish. Recent ecosystem protection objectives often desire year-round closures, with objectives on biodiversity and preservation of habitat, and not on productivity of commercial fish species. Closed areas have become a cornerstone of an ecosystem-based approach to link fisheries and marine conservation and management (at times without scientific scrutiny). The benefits and liabilities of closed areas remain controversial.



This project will investigate the impacts of closed areas on fisheries worldwide and in Canada, using the Hawke Closure off Labrador and the Mafia Island Reserve in Tanzania as case studies. The main objectives are to combine, calculate and model existing data on the effects of fishing closures on fish stocks and fisheries, and to study the implementation and management of closures and policies relevant to them. Models of the effects of fisheries closures on fish stocks and fisheries will be developed, with emphasis on the fisheries. The results should demonstrate how closures impact fisheries, and how best to achieve any measurable benefits from closures.


Project Leader Contact Information

George Rose
Memorial University of Newfoundland


Project Team

  • Aubrey Russell - Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW)
  • Corey Morris - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre
  • Dan Lane - University of Ottawa
  • Darrell Mullowney - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre
  • Harvey Jarvis - Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW)
  • Janice Ryan - World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • Jim McIssac - T. Buck Suzuki Foundation.
  • Kate Barley - Memorial University of Newfoundland graduate student (2011-present)
  • Rodolphe Devillers - Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Steve Martell - International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
  • Tom Dooley - Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Newfoundland and Labrador