The Multispecies Approach


Mission Statement:  The mission of the Multispecies Research Group (MRG) is to advance the science associated with traditional and ecosystem-based fisheries management through data collection and analyses in support of single and multispecies fishery stock assessments.

Multispecies fisheries research is an approach wherein scientists analyze the interactions between and within species and their environment. This includes parameters such as predator-prey interactions, seasonal variations in distribution, water-quality parameters, age distributions, sex, and maturity stage.

Historically, fishery assessments were (and still are) based on single-species models and research. The single-species approach looks at a single species as if it were an independent entity in the ecosystem, unaffected by other processes and having no effect on other species.

Around the world, scientists and fisheries managers have realized that a single-species approach is not enough. The push to move to ecosystem and multispecies based management is gaining momentum but to gather the information needed, fishery independent research needs to be conducted and maintained for all species in the target ecosystem.