Special Collection: Sustainable Fisheries

Coastal Fisheries Success Factors

Policy & Planning

Embrace Complexity

Address Conflicting Aims

Recognise Context

Operate at Multiple Scales

Ensure Institutional Coherence

Ensure Sustainability

Adapt to Changes

Technical Implementation

Establish Rights & Responsibilities

Change Incrementally

Understand Institutional Fit

Incorporate Politics

Address Costs and Benefits

Get Market Measures Right

community engagement

Understand Dependency

Balance Livelihoods

Build Capacity

Engage Fishers

Address Compliance

Ensure Participation

Link Knowledge Systems


Build Capacity

Fishers and their wider communities have an important role to play in fisheries management, but first they need the skills to understand the management process and the knowledge required of their roles and responsibilities. Good leadership can play an important part in this but can also distort the outcomes. Building community capacity to participate, engage, share and cooperate can be equally as important.

During expert discussions, participants also highlighted leadership issues as being important at levels above the community, as initiatives for fisheries management or conservation of marine areas have often tended to be highly dependent on specific individuals with the commitment and charisma to encourage wider support for such initiatives, whether in local government, the NGO sector or at higher policy-making levels. They saw this dependence on specific leaders as representing vulnerability, because such individual “champions” are subject to generational change or regular transfer to other locations or fields of work, especially given the long timeframes often involved in fisheries management development.

Critical Questions

What capacity does the local community have to engage in the fisheries management process?

To what extent, and in what ways, is participation, engagement, cooperation and collaboration visible and operational at the community level and how might this be incorporated into fisheries management?

What role does leadership play in the community and in decision-making on resource-use and how might this be incorporated into the fisheries management system?

How are vested interests and patronage dealt with in the fishery - who are the winners and losers in this?

What are the critical areas of capacity at the community-level that need developing and how will this be done and funded?