The Interaction of Fisheries and Climate Change: Socioeconomic and Management Perspectives

by Anthony Charles

Jan 1, 2009
Modern-day discussions of fishery governance and management revolve around a number of key ingredients – the goals of sustainability and resilience, the widespread presence of uncertainty and complexity, the corresponding directions of a precautionary approach and an ecosystem approach, and implementation of these through avenues such as robust management. This paper explores the links among these many ingredients. In particular, robust management mechanisms aim for reasonable success in meeting societal objectives of sustainability and resilience, even given high levels of uncertainty, limited understanding of the fishery and an imperfect capability to control exploitation. This draws on both a precautionary approach and an ecosystem approach, in what is, in fact, a form of risk management: risk is reduced through design measures that shift fisheries to become more robust to the inherent structural uncertainty. Managing risk, through robust management, is a key element of fishery governance in the context of the emerging Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), and its joint pursuit of ecosystem health, sustainable resource use and human well-being.
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