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

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.

Traditional knowledge Use for the Sustainable Management of Marine and Fishing Resources

This study offers systematization of three experiences in Central America where traditional knowledge has been used to improve marine spatial planning and frame a new policy oriented towards human rights approaches to fisheries and has given better tools for the governance of community-managed protected areas.

Reserved Parking: Marine Reserves and Small-scale Fishing Communities: A collection of articles from Samudra Report by ICSF, 2008

This dossier puts together a collection of articles from the pages of SAMUDRA Report, the triannual journal of ICSF. The articles show that conservation and livelihoods are closely intertwined, and that top-down, non participatory models of conservation can be counterproductive. Despite being poor and powerless, fishing and coastal communities can be powerful allies in conservation efforts, given their longstanding dependence on natural resources and their traditional ecological knowledge systems. As the examples in the dossier reveal, it is possible for fishing communities to protect and conserve the environment, while continuing with sustainable fishing operations.

Guía para fortalecer la gobernanza de la pesca en los territorios indígenas de Centroamérica

La presente guía ha sido desarrollada con los elementos brindados por lo líderes indígenas y pescadores indígenas por medio de la APICA y representantes de las instituciones estatales dedicadas a la desarrollo de la pesca en los países centroamericanos , siendo priorizados y consensuados por los representantes indígenas centroamericanos para valorar la gobernanza de la pesca indígena para la afirmación de la gestión territorial en función del crecimiento económico, la inclusión social y protección ambiental.

Community-based fisheries management in Solomon Islands

To replenish dwindling fish stocks and ensure plentiful supplies for future generations, communities are developing fisheries management plans to control the use of marine resources.

The importance of fisheries management

Effective fisheries management is essential for healthy, sustainable oceans and for improving the livelihoods of fishing communities worldwide. Watch now to learn about the status of global fisheries and why fisheries management is so important.

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