Robust Management, Risk and the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries

Jan 01, 2008 | by
  • Description

Biodiversity has not been a prominent consideration in conventional fishery management, even though biological concerns and the concept of "sustainability" are long-established in fisheries. This is because traditionally, the focus of management has been on determining the harvest of fish that can be taken as a "sustainable yield" and then restricting the catch of fish to within this limit. Typically missing from the analysis have been (1) interactions of fishing with the broader marine ecosystem, and (2) interactions of the fishery with the broader coastal economy and coastal communities. Accordingly, there is a need to move toward a "big picture" perspective, a "Fishery System Approach", in which fisheries are understood and managed in the context of marine ecosystems and coastal human systems, thereby addressing the needs of both biodiversity conservation and integrated management of multiple ocean uses. This paper elaborates on these themes, exploring the duality of the Ecosystem Approach and the Livelihood Approach as means to move toward sustainable, resilient fishery systems, ones in which biodiversity values can be more fully included.