What Critical Questions Should We Be Asking?
Establish Rights and Responsibilities
- What role do individual and group users’ rights and responsibilities play in the fishery?
- How were they established and how legitimate are they regarded by different stakeholders, do they mesh with traditional systems, who has benefitted and why were they selected?
- How have the poorer and more marginalized groups of participants (especially women) been included in this process?
- How are rights and responsibilities enforced and monitored?
- How are these linked to other forms of human rights?
Get Market Measures Right
- How has the role of markets been considered in the fisheries management process and what role does the market play in determining how resources are exploited?
- What role does/can eco-labeling and certification play in the fishery?
- How effective has this been in improving livelihoods of fishers and other participants, and in the more sustainable use of the resources?
- How have the poor been incorporated in these programmes?
- How are the costs of such initiatives covered and by whom?
- 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?
- What are the motives, incentives and drivers that influence the behavior of fishers, traders and processors?
- How do these differ between different stakeholder groups e.g. men, women, the old, young, rich and poor?
- How have these been accommodated in fisheries management measures?
- How have traditional values and norms, and differing time preferences been catered for?
- How are motives and incentives changing with exposure to external forces and how are these catered for?
- To what extent do staff involved in fisheries management have appropriate knowledge, skills, systems and attitudes to develop and implement complex social, economic and environmental approaches to fisheries management?
- Have they been given adequate time, training, support and resources to gain those attributes?
- What incentives and processes are available to help develop these attributes?
- What efforts been made to translate complex management concepts into a common language that can be understood by policy makers, managers and fishers?
- What consensus building has been carried out between different stakeholders in understanding and adapting to management changes?
Understand Institutional Fit
- To what extent do the institutional boundaries and capabilities of management agencies reflect the geographical, sectoral and thematic requirements of an integrated fisheries management process?
- What policy, legislative and support mechanisms exist to allow decisions to be made at the lowest effective level?
- How have the different roles, incentives and mandates of government, the private sector, the community and civil society been accommodated in management?
- How can traditional village institutions be incorporated in management?
- To what extent have aid effectiveness principles been incorporated in the design of management?
Address Costs and Benefits
- To what extent are the different costs and benefits of fisheries management understood?
- How are those costs and benefits shared between levels and participants?
- How are these costs and benefits linked to wider development processes at the local and national levels?
- What role does the market play in determining these costs and benefits?
- What innovative funding mechanisms could be used to support the long-term changes needed to move the fisheries to become sustainable, fair and self-funding?
- How effective is compliance with existing fisheries management regulations?
- What are the causes of non-compliance?
- To what extent are policy objectives, legislative frameworks, and management measures seen as fair and legitimate by fishers and by wider society?
- To what extent is compliance achieved through enforcement by external agencies, mediation by community-level institutions, or by commitment from fishers?
- How can greater levels of commitment to the management process be achieved?
- What different forms of dependency are there on the resource e.g. full-time, part-time, seasonal, safety -net fishers?
- What is the fishery used for by different groups e.g. food, income, building materials, recreation, social cohesion?
- How diversified are the livelihood strategies of different fisheries dependent households?
- What role do fish processors and traders play in influencing the fishery and how dependent are they on current patterns of fisheries exploitation?
- How does the management process accommodate different dependencies?
- What alternative investment and employment opportunities already exist for fishers?
- To what extent are household livelihood strategies already diversified and how can this be furthered in climate resilient ways that reduce dependency on the fishery?
- To what extent is fisheries planning and management incorporated in wider local development processes and their interdependence recognized?
- What provisions have been made to correctly sequence fishery controls, market chain improvement and livelihood diversification support?
- What resources, skills, systems, knowledge and attitudes do support staff need to be effective at stimulating livelihood diversification?
Link Knowledge systems
- How is knowledge validated, valued and shared between different stakeholders in the fishery?
- How can scientific and traditional knowledge management systems be brought more closely together?
- In what ways can fishers be more actively involved in fisheries research, research analysis, validation and output dissemination?
- How effectively is knowledge communicated and how does it influence decisions making at different levels?
Ensure participation and inclusion
- How can fishers, processors, traders and others be more actively involved in decision-making and policy formulation?
- How can the needs of different stakeholder groups (the poor, women, the marginalized, fish processors, traders, money lenders, boat builders, gear repairers etc.) be balanced in fisheries management and policy processes?
- How can that participation be made more collaborative and collegial?
- How can the effectiveness and fairness of inclusion be monitored?
Adapt to Changes and External Pressures
- How has climate change, natural disasters, coastal development, population pressure, fuel prices, food prices and other global shocks and trends affected the fishery?
- To what extend has the fishery adapted to such changes?
- How are these pressure likely to change in the future?
- How innovative, adaptive and sectorally integrated is the fisheries management process in the face of such complex change?
- How resilient and adaptive are fishers’ livelihoods in the face of such change - can these attributes be strengthened and embedded in the management approach?
- What are the key social, economic, ecological, political and cultural factors that define the local context of the fishery and set it apart?
- What are the implications of this local context for fisheries management?
- What differences are likely to hinder the local uptake of experiences from elsewhere?
- How has that local context been incorporated in the fisheries management process?
- To what extent is the complexity of the local fishery fully understood by participants, policy-makers and managers?
- How is that complexity embraced within the management process?
- How have different ways of understanding this complexity been united in a common set of terms and values?
- To what extent has cross-sectoral coordination and interdisciplinary approaches been adopted in the management process?
- What are the implications of this for more ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management?
Address Conflicting Aims
- What are the aims of the fisheries management process and how clearly are they articulated?
- How do the aims at different levels and across different agencies differ from each other?
- How do different social, economic, environmental and political objectives conflict?
- How are such conflicts resolved? What trade-offs are needed?
- How can greater coherence between aims and objectives be achieved?
Ensure institutional coherence
- Given the complexity and multiple aims of many fisheries management processes, to what extent does institutional coherence at policy, legislative, planning, plan implementation and at different geographical levels exist?
- What are the factors which support or undermine this coherence?
- How coherent are fisheries sector aims and strategies with national development policies?
- To what extent is there coherence with community level development aims and opportunities?
- How is the sustainability of the fisheries resource and wider ecosystem being measured e.g. in terms of biodiversity, biomass, habitat health, recruitment, connectivity, key species?
- How does the sustainability of the fishery and coastal environments link to other sectors such as food security and nutrition, tourism, shoreline security?
- How is fisheries management linked into wider ecosystem service management?
- How can marine protected areas and other conservation measures be designed and managed to enhance sustainability and improve the livelihoods of a diversity of stakeholder groups simultaneously?
Incorporate Politics and Political Choices
- To what extent, and in what ways, has the role of politics at local and national levels been recognized and accommodated in the fisheries management process?
- How have politics influenced the aims and implementation of fisheries management?
- How can political views and aspirations be accommodated in the management process whilst ensuring social, economic and ecological aims are not compromised?
- How can the role of local elites be incorporated to achieve fair, representative, inclusive and sustainable outcomes?
Operate at Multiple scales
- In what way is the fishery composed of different resource scales and institutional levels?
- What are the implications of these different scales and levels for the management process?
- To what extent is there coherence of scales and levels across different activities, sectoral and thematic areas, and decision-making in the fishery management process?
- How have the differences between scales and levels been resolved in the fishery and how can they be more effectively harmonised?
- How have these different scales and levels been linked to wider development processes?