Towards a precautionary approach to managing Canada's commercial harp seal hunt
The Canadian government's approach to the management of its commercial harp seal hunt is compared with other precautionary approaches developed for setting anthropogenic removal limits for marine mammal populations. For Canada's harp seal hunt, the current management strategy has not been fully specified or tested, and its robustness to changes in biological parameters, uncertainty in input data and environmental variability, remains unknown. As such, the management approach cannot be considered precautionary and there is a substantial, but not quantified, probability that it will not meet its objectives. There is an urgent need for a fully specified and rigorously tested management procedure, and steps towards this are suggested that should reduce the risks associated with the current approach.
Leaper, R; Lavigne, DM; Corkeron, P; Johnston, DW
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