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Stocking fish in inland waters: Opportunities and risks for sustainable food systems

September 15, 2023

Stocking is one of the foremost tools in the inland fisheries management toolbox, but it comes with both opportunities and risks. Stocking is often used as compensation for depleted wild populations, particularly where recruitment processes have been disrupted, but it can introduce disease, disrupt community structures, reduce genetic integrity, and cause conflicts between fishery stakeholders. Despite its widespread use, examples of effective stocking for food fisheries in inland waters are sparse in the peer-reviewed literature. Nevertheless, it is well established that stocking is frequently used to maintain fish yield, so there is a need to conduct the practice in a robust manner that minimises the potential risks. This paper serves as the front matter for a special section of Fisheries Management and Ecology focused on fresh waters feeding the world, which resulted from two panel sessions, one focused on aquaculture and one focused on stocking, hosted by the international InFish research network ( The paper highlights current practices of fish stock enhancement in inland waters for food, examines potential synergies and interactions of stock enhancement programmes with aquaculture, and provides an outline framework for responsible management of fish stock enhancement.

Publication Year 2023
Title Stocking fish in inland waters: Opportunities and risks for sustainable food systems
DOI 10.1111/fme.12656
Authors Ian G. Cowx, Simon Funge-Smith, Abigail Lynch
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fisheries Management and Ecology
Index ID 70250012
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Climate Adaptation Science Center