Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Ices Journal Of Marine Science
Many exploited fish and invertebrate species use coastal habitats during one or more life-history stages as spawning, feeding, and nursery areas; yet, the value of these habitats has not been adequately characterized. As habitat availability can be a bottleneck for many populations, concerns about habitat effects on exploited species have been increasing. We have compiled nine articles presenting the state of knowledge and future research priorities regarding the importance of habitat for exploited species. Reviews from European habitats and several geographical locations throughout the United States demonstrate the influence of coastal habitats on survival, growth, and movement, especially during the early life-history stages, in a wide variety of species, spatial scales, and habitats. Moreover, many of these species contribute substantially to commercial landings, highlighting the importance of coastal habitats to population persistence and fishery yields. Management of fishery species can also be enhanced through modelling efforts incorporating habitat. Finally, there is a need for more effort in quantifying population demographics rates, creating comprehensive habitat maps, and developing better census techniques for complex hard bottom habitats; thus, future work is needed on the value of coastal habitats for exploited species.
Seitz, RD, Value of coastal habitats for exploited species: introduction to a theme set of articles (2014). Ices Journal Of Marine Science, 71(3), 636-637.