An Investigation of the Effects of Uncertainty on Canadian Harp Seal Management

An Investigation of the Effects of Uncertainty on Canadian Harp Seal Management

This study investigates the behaviour of the Canadian government's current management procedures for harp seals. These procedures are described by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as using both the Precautionary Approach and Objective Based Fisheries Management. Employing a similar underlying population modelling approach, we simulated the effects of uncertainty involving bias in estimates of human induced mortality, natural mortality and pup production estimates. These factors may combine such that the impact on the population of a certain level of take is much greater than would be predicted from assessments derived from the government model. Nevertheless, any precautionary management regime would be expected to be robust to reasonable levels of uncertainty. Our results indicate, however, that for the range of annual total allowable catches (TAC) considered and set for Canadian commercial catches of harp seals (250,000 - 350,000) there may be circumstances under which the government's management procedures fail to meet their own conservation objectives.

Experts

Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime