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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Good Practices in the Governance of Small-Scale Fisheries, with a Focus on Rights-Based Approaches

October 1, 2010

Climate change, operating through related physical changes (e.g. sea level, ocean temperature) has biological implications (e.g. changes in primary productivity) which in turn produce direct impacts on human uses of the ocean (e.g., fishing, tourism, ports) and broader induced impacts on human society (e.g., social, economic, community). In fisheries, the effects of climate change are bound to interact with the effects of fishing, in their cumulative impacts on fish stocks, and on human aspects of the fishery system. It is important to recognize that the overall approach to, and the specific components of, fisheries management will have major effects on this interaction. Accordingly, this paper explores two main considerations. First, socioeconomic and behavioural aspects of fisheries need to be monitored in the face of climate change, as these will likely have strong management and assessment implications. Second, the need to address the combination of climate change and fishing as forcing factors in fisheries reinforces the necessity for adopting a broad-based precautionaryapproach to management decision making, and for re-designing management systems so that their structure and methods are more robust and adaptive.