A Theoretical Evaluation of Shellfish Resource Management
Journal of Shellfish Research
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Resource management alternatives for three commercially important bivalve species (Mya arenaria Linne, Mercenaria mercenaria Linne and Crassostrea virginica Gmelin) are examined by applying population projection models and sensitivity analyses to age (stage)-specific life history information. All species showed postive correlations between size and fecundity and size and survivorship. Population growth rates were 2-3 orders of magnitude more sensitive to changes in survivorship in larval and juvenile stages of the life cycles than proportional changes in either survivorship or fecundity in adult size classes. The greatest return will be realized in shellfish production if management efforts are directed to increasing juvenile survivorship and the quality and/or quantity of the juvenile habitat.