Sustainable Fisheries

Special Collection

Worldwide, small-scale coastal fisheries contribute significantly to providing food, employment, and incomes to many very poor people. But these same fisheries, and the ecosystems upon which they rely, are under increasing threat from a combination of climate change, pollution, over-fishing, and the exploitation of resources.

Fisheries management has been a major component in trying to address some of these issues, but with limited global success. The potential of fisheries, if managed well, is considerable but what form that potential will take will depend on how and why fisheries are managed.

This collection of reports and presentations explores just this question, describing some of the challenges faced by small-scale fisheries worldwide and their efforts to address these challenges and improve the health and well-being of the people who are dependent on these threatened environments.

The collection brings together the "grey literature" of the field, valuable work that is not readily available through academic journals and databases but is instead spread across dozens of organizational websites. This set of reports was initially identified as part of a synthesis review of key lessons commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation's Program on Oceans and Fisheries. We are pleased to make it more easily available for others to use and build on and encourage researchers and practitioners to add relevant work to the collection.

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Fisheries Policy Content and Direction in Asian APFIC Member Countries

January 1, 2006

This review by the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) examines the trends in fisheries and aquaculture policy in selected countries in Asia. The analysis is based on national policy documents and relevant literature as well as feedback from fisheries officials/experts in the region. The review assesses the policy status and trends relating to the use of development and/or management targets, natural resource management issues, financial, economic and marketing issues, and socio-economic and poverty issues. Individual country information was analysed to generate a regional synthesis of fisheries and aquaculture policy content and direction in the region, and the key drivers for change. The review highlights the differences in fisheries and aquaculture policy between countries and also reveals a surprising degree of similarity between main policy directions and strategies used to manage the sector. Many governments have initiated recent policy changes, often as a result of awareness about international views, policy changes/norms in other countries, and emerging ideas about what constitutes "best practice". In some cases donor projects and assistance have also been an important catalyst for policy change. The regional review suggests that much policy in the region is already well specified and that, while countries could certainly improve their policy content, greater challenges may lie in implementing policy rather than in improving policy itself.

Conservation of Sulaiman Markhor and Afghan Urial by Local Tribesmen in Torghar, Pakistan

December 1, 2001

Chapter 1 of the book Lessons Learned: Case Studies in Sustainable Use. This chapter describes the events that led to the creation of STEP (Society for Torghar Environmental Protection), its achievements, and outlines its future plans. The paper demonstrates that by involving local communities in conservation projects, both wildlife and communities benefit. Torghar lies in the district of Killa Saifullah within the province of Balochistan, Pakistan. The Pathan tribe, the largest of the Kakar group, have been living in this area for several generations. Several sub-tribes exist for whom hunting is a tradition. Before the Afghanistan War began in 1979, primitive weapons and the scarcity of ammunition limited the number of animals killed. As the pace of the war increased, automatic weapons and ammunition became readily available. Seasonal migrants and local residents began hunting indiscriminately and population numbers of wild animals dwindled rapidly. Populations of Sulaiman Markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni) and Afghan Urial (Ovis orientalis cycleros) -- keystone species in the area -- became critically low. In 1984, representatives of the North America-United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) arrived in Balochistan to explore opportunities for wildlife conservation. Tribesmen from Torghar expressed an interest in wildlife conservation and a self-supporting conservation programme was established: The Torghar Conservation Programme (TCP), later the Society for Torghar Environmental Protection (STEP), whose design was based on the principles of sustainable use, local tribe involvement, and conservation biology. Today the numbers of Sulaiman Markhor and Afghan Urial have increased significantly. The capacities of local tribes have also increased and the economic and social infrastructure of the area has developed positively.