Human Dimensions of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries: An Overview of Context, Concepts, Tools and Methods

by Anthony Charles; Antonia Hjort; Cassandra De Young

Aug 13, 2008
This document aims to provide a better understanding of the role of the economic, institutional and sociocultural components within the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) process and to examine some potential methods and approaches that may facilitate the adoption of EAF management. It explores both the human context for the ecosystem approach to fisheries and the human dimensions involved in implementing the EAF. For the former, the report provides background material essential to understand prior to embarking on EAF initiatives, including an understanding of key concepts and issues, of the valuation of aquatic ecosystems socially, culturally and economically, and of the many policy, legal, institutional, social and economic considerations relevant to the EAF. With respect to facilitating EAF implementation, the report deals with a series of specific aspects: (1) determining the boundaries, scale and scope of the EAF; (2) assessing the various benefits and costs involved, seen from social, economic, ecological and management perspectives; (3) utilizing appropriate decision-making tools in EAF; (4) creating and/or adopting internal incentives and institutional arrangements to promote, facilitate and fund the adoption of EAF management; and (5) finding suitable external (non-fisheries) approaches for financing EAF implementation.
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