Oyster Reef Restoration as a Fisheries Management Tool

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dc.contributor.advisor David Eggleston, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Laura Taylor, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Josesph Hightower, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Jing Lin, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.author Millstein, Erika Shields en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-02T18:11:53Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-02T18:11:53Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-18 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-08052009-145309 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2280
dc.description.abstract Global declines in fish stocks over the past several decades have been caused by a combination of factors, including overfishing, habitat destruction, and water quality degradation. Despite the complexity of the problem, fisheries management traditionally focuses on effort reductions for individual fish stocks to rebuild populations. This single species management approach is often unsuccessful. Habitat restoration, however, is rarely included in management strategies and few studies have addressed the effectiveness of habitat restoration as a fisheries management tool. In the coastal southeast United States, the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica is an economically and ecologically important species. Oysters act as ecosystem engineers by building structurally dynamic reefs, providing habitat, cycling nutrients, and filtering water, thereby increasing water clarity. Oyster population declines have motivated state agencies, academic institutions, and local communities to initiate oyster reef habitat restoration projects. In addition to augmenting oyster populations, the restored reefs also provide essential habitat for a variety of economically and ecologically important fish and shellfish including black sea bass (Centropristis striata), gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis), sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus), and stone crab (Menippe mercenaria). The potential for restored oyster reefs to enhance the abundance and population growth rate of reef associated fish, and thereby offset catch reduction, has not been fully examined. This research assessed the biological and economic effectiveness of oyster restoration as a fisheries management tool for black sea bass. We hypothesize that: (H1) population growth rate of black sea bass will increase with increasing oyster reef area; and (H2) that the extent of oyster reef necessary to reach a stable population growth rate for black sea bass would be greater than the current area of restored reef in the Southeast United States. We used a computer simulation model to examine the black sea bass population growth rate response to oyster reef restoration, and to assess the economic costs and benefits of oyster reef restoration, fishing mortality reduction, and management inaction. The population growth rate of black sea bass increased with increasing oyster reef area; a total of 52.166 km2 of oyster reef was necessary to stabilize the population growth rate of black sea bass and thereby offset fishing mortality reduction to the fishery. When the economic benefits of black sea bass, gag grouper, gray snapper, sheepshead and stone crab recreational and commercial fishing were included, oyster reef restoration was the most economically effective management option evaluated compared to fishing mortality reduction or management inactions. These results suggest that the habitat restoration is an economically effective, holistic management option for rebuilding fish populations. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject Leslie matrix model en_US
dc.subject quadratic programming en_US
dc.subject black sea bass en_US
dc.subject oyster reef en_US
dc.subject habitat restoration en_US
dc.subject fisheries management en_US
dc.title Oyster Reef Restoration as a Fisheries Management Tool en_US
dc.degree.name MS en_US
dc.degree.level thesis en_US
dc.degree.discipline Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences en_US

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