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|Ecosystem Approaches to Governance||
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|Ecosystem approaches to governance|
|Governance is broader than fisheries management. It consists of formal and informal rules, and understandings or norms that influence behavior. An ecosystem approach for responsible fisheries requires self-governance by the scientific community, the fishing industry, and the public (including politicians), as well as responsible fisheries management. |
The key elements of the ecosystem approach should be
- goals and constraints that characterize the desired state of fisheries and undesirable ecosystem changes
- conservation measures that are precautionary, take account of species interactions, and are adaptive
- allocation of rights to provide incentives for conservation
- decision-making that is participatory and transparent
- ecosystem protection for habitat and species of special concern, and
- management support, including scientific information, enforcement, and performance evaluation.
Norbert Wu, Pew Collection In a tradition that has lasted for centuries, giant bluefin tuna are captured in Sardinia, Italy. Fishermen in this fishery lay huge nets for several weeks to trap tuna while they are in the Mediterranean to spawn. There were once over 48 of these fisheries, or tonnara, in Sardinia; now there are only two. Many fish such as bluefin tuna cross international boundaries, so efforts to conserve fish stocks locally have largely been unsuccessful. It has now been proven that these bluefin tuna are the same ones seen on the East Coast of North America.
|Photo title: Harvest of giant bluefin tuna|
|Photo credit: Norbert Wu, Pew Collection|
|Role of the scientist|
|The scientific community needs to govern itself so that it produces scientific information that is relevant, responsive, respected and right. A multifaceted approach is needed, including monitoring of fisheries and ecosystems, assessments and scientific advice tailored to management needs, and strategic research investments to improve monitoring and assessments in the future. We need separation of scientific institutions from management; collaborative research with the fishing industry; and transparent quality assurance of scientific advice. |
|Photo title: Scientists retrieve sediment trap|
|Photo credit: Ken Smith Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography|
|Role of the broader community|
|For an ecosystem approach for responsible fisheries, the fishing industry should govern itself to |
The public (including environmentalists) should also participate in the fisheries management process and live with the outcome. Politicians should produce legislation that is clear in intent and achievable within realistic funding levels. No one should make or condone “end runs” that undermine fishery management decisions. All stakeholders should be respectful of other stakeholders.
- accept responsibility for providing fisheries information
- embrace collaborative research
- participate in the fishery management process and live with the outcome
- comply with regulations
- avoid waste, and
- develop training to instill a responsible fishing ethic.
Based on Governance for responsible fisheries: an ecosystem approach Michael P. Sissenwine and Pamela M. Mace. See also