Environmental changes that occur slowly over long periods of time may not be accurately recognized by humans because each new generation tends to measure ecosystem health against its own experiences. These “shifting baselines” can lead people to assume that highly degraded biological states are the norm. In the marine environment, shifted baselines may cause fisheries managers to set unambitious management targets, which inadvertently maintain fish populations well below their potential for stock recovery and sustainable yields.
Loren McClenachan will identify best practices for addressing shifting baselines in fisheries management using historical ecological data. Focusing on bluefin tuna and multispecies Mexican shark fisheries, she will investigate how data from multiple historical sources can be integrated to make fisheries management more accurate and effective.
McClenachan will also establish an international network of historical ecology practitioners to draft best practices and develop an action plan that outlines specific opportunities to apply these practices to at least 25 fisheries.
To learn more about McClenachan, read her bio: https://www.colby.edu/directory/profile/loren.mcclenachan/.