Synchronized fluctuations in global marine fisheries
Speaker: Dr. Joyce JL Ong, Postdocotoral Associate, Rutgers University
Marine resources and fisheries are coupled social-ecological systems that make substantial contributions toward food, livelihoods and foreign trade for many countries. While fisheries are often managed as independent populations, human and ecosystem processes link fisheries together in complex networks. Synchronous fluctuations among fisheries amplify variation and can destabilize ecosystems and economies, but the strength of synchrony remains unclear. Here, we analyzed 1092 marine fisheries catch time-series representing 510 unique species over 60 years to test for the presence of coherence—a form of synchrony that allows for phase-lagged relationships. We found five times as many pairs of coherent fisheries as expected from a null model and nearly every fishery was coherent with at least one other fishery globally. Coherence was strongest in the northeast Atlantic, western central Pacific, and eastern Indian Ocean and among large pelagic species (tunas and billfishes). Most of these relationships were synchronous with no time lags, which implied external factors such as fishing behavior and climate.
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