Fisheries policy, governance & management

Fisheries policy, governance & management

How can you build a strong governance and management system for your fishery and community? Fisheries governance systems, formal or informal, help make and enforce rules about our fisheries. Co-management and participatory decision-making help ensure that fisheries management benefits local communities. Start here to learn about secure tenure and co-management and explore other resources in the sub-categories below.

Subcategories

Resources

Policy Brief - Small-scale tuna fishery development: Lessons learned and way forward

The aims of this policy brief are to: identify lessons that have been learned in the many attempts to develop small-scale tuna fisheries in the Pacific region; and use those lessons to provide guidance to fisheries agencies and donors for future efforts.

Actioning the Monterey Framework: Stories from Around the World

The Monterey Framework is a collectively agreed-upon definition of socially responsible seafood with input and backing from over two-dozen environmental and human rights organizations and voluntary commitments from an equal number of seafood businesses.

Pacific handbook for gender equity and social inclusion in coastal fisheries and aquaculture

This handbook is designed to give practical guidance on improving gender and social inclusion in coastal fisheries and aquaculture for staff working in fisheries agencies in Pacific Island countries and territories. It focuses on the responsibilities of Pacific Island governments to help promote sustainable development outcomes for all people relying on coastal fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods.

Dead fish is not manna

This publication brings to the frontline, issues that beg for attention in the fisheries sector.

Chapter one of this publication, titled COVID-19 and Fisheries, highlights how the pandemic has affected the fisheries subsector.

Chapter two, titled Dead Fish is not Manna, captures the peculiarities and challenges of fisheries in Nigeria noting the contaminated state of some of the fishes sold in the country's markets.

Adaptive management of fisheries in response to climate change

This report aims to accelerate climate change adaptation implementation in fisheries management throughout the world. It showcases how flexibility can be introduced in the fisheries management cycle in order to foster adaptation, strengthen the resilience of fisheries, reduce their vulnerability to climate change, and enable managers to respond in a timely manner to the projected changes in the dynamics of marine resources and ecosystems.

The need to establish fresh water and marine protected areas in Nigeria

This policy paper calls for the mapping out and creation of fresh water and marine protected areas in Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. It outlines the need for and benefits of such areas, sources of inputs and steps in their establishment, and the associated legal institutional and policy frameworks. This paper can well be adapted and replicated for use across the Congo Basin and the Gulf of Guinea.

Towards gender-equitable small-scale fisheries governance and development

This document, Towards Gender-Equitable Small-Scale Fisheries – A handbook In support of the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (henceforth the “handbook”), was developed to support gender-equitable small-scale fisheries by enhancing the understanding of their gender dimensions, with a focus on the specific role and conditions of women in the small-scale fisheries sector.

Legislating for sustainable small-scale fisheries

This document, Legislating for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries – A guide and considerations for implementing aspects of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication in National Legislation, is a tool for States to strengthen their fisheries legislation in order to establish conditions for inclusive and sustainable small-scale fisheries development, taking into account the interrelatedness of social, economic and environmental sustainability, while focusing on marginalized groups.

Environmental Rapid Assessment Report

Co-developed by Ocean Outcomes, World Wildlife Fund US, and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, the Environmental Rapid Assessment (ERA) tool is based on Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)'s performance indicators (PIs) and draws concepts/definitions from both the MSC and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (MBA SFW) standards. The ERA is designed to present key information about a fishery and identify major deficiencies in ecological sustainability, for general scoping or to facilitate movement of a fishery into a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP).

Portraits of Change Video Series

This eight-part video series seeks to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and other stressors on fishers, fish workers and fishing communities across the globe. These videos provide a firsthand account of the battles faced by fishers and fish workers as they are faced with declining fish populations, increasingly common extreme weather events and disruptions due to climate change, COVID-19 and other stressors.

Les Directives pour une Pêche Artisanale Durable Wolof +

"This animation is a whistle stop tour about the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries with a Wolof sound track particularly for people in Senegal and neighbouring countries most comfortable with this language."

Gender equality is diluted in commitments made to small-scale fisheries

This study examines the role of gender, gender equality, and gender equality strategies in small-scale fisheries.

Exploring gender inclusion in small-scale fisheries management and development in Melanesia

"Fisheries, like other sectors, is not immune to gender inequality, and women tend to experience the brunt of inequality as undervalued and underrepresented actors in fisheries management and development. A comprehensive understanding of the gender approaches in use, including potential barriers to their implementation, is needed to promote gender equitable outcomes in the small-scale fisheries (SSF) sector."

IUCN Guidelines for gathering of fishers' knowledge for policy development and applied use

"These voluntary IUCN Guidelines for gathering of fishers’ knowledge for policy development and applied use (the “Fishers’ Knowledge Policy Development Guidelines”) provide much needed practical and theoretical guidance on what and how gathering Fishers’ Knowledge can be utilized in policy development and in society today. Fishers’ Knowledge includes indigenous and traditional knowledge and experienced persons who have been involved in a fishery and community over an extended period of time. "

Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: Towards the formulation of a capacity development program

This document provides a summary of the presentations, discussions, working group sessions and recommendations of the workshop “Strengthening organizations and collective action in fisheries: towards the formulation of a capacity development programme,” held in Barbados on 4–6 November 2014. The document also includes the nine in-depth case studies presented during the workshop and a contributed paper.

Cooperatives in small-scale fisheries: enabling successes through community empowerment

"Cooperatives in the small-scale fisheries sector are a way of maximizing long-term community benefits to deal with the threats of fisheries mismanagement, livelihood insecurity and poverty – harsh realities for many of the world’s small-scale fishers. Communities with successful community-based organizations are better off than those without (Ostrom, 1990). Successful cooperatives are possible, feasible and desirable and play an important role in community development. Cooperatives have the potential to empower small-scale fishers against environmental and socio-economic shocks such as catch shortfalls, sickness and death in their families, natural disasters and hunger.

The following case studies show how fisheries cooperatives contribute to improving the conditions of small-scale fishers around the globe."

FAO Podcast TZH 46 - How do you tackle illegal fishing?

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is worth an estimated US$23 billion annually, but it’s wreaking havoc on marine resources and the environment. The Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), introduced in 2016, aims to tackle this global problem. It's the first binding international agreement that specifically targets illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. To date, 87 States are party to the treaty, with more to follow. To explain how the treaty works, we hear from Manuel Barange, director of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Matthew Camilleri, senior fisheries officer at FAO.

Implementation Readiness Checklist

The Implementation Readiness Checklist enables fishery practitioners to evaluate the readiness of a new management system for implementation “on the water.” The Checklist provides a structure for identifying and planning for needs, gaps and potential challenges that must be addressed for successful implementation. Using the Checklist as a guide, practitioners can identify specific actions they can take to improve readiness for implementation. This can help ensure the fishery system is prepared to address common needs and challenges as they arise.

Fishery Characterization Guide

The Fishery Characterization Guide helps stakeholders gather contextual information about a fishery in order to make well-informed decisions during fishery reform and management processes. The Guide helps fishery practitioners examine several aspects of a fishery including: ecosystem, fishermen and fishing grounds, fishing infrastructure, species information, markets and sociocultural characteristics. When working with project partners in a fishery, reviewing the Guide can ensure that everyone has a common understanding of the characteristics present in the fishery.

A Fishery Manager's Guidebook

Fisheries management is a complex and evolving discipline and much is still being learned about what it involves, what works and what does not. The problem is compounded by the fact that fisheries management as a coherent discipline is still poorly defined and frequently equally poorly understood. This publication strives to identify the primary tasks in management of capture fisheries, with particular emphasis on sustainable utilization of the biological resources, and to demonstrate how these tasks should be integrated and coordinated to obtain the desired benefits from the biological resources in a sustainable and responsible manner.

             Join the community