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


Ensure Sustainability

Marine ecosystems are important not just for the food and income that they generate but also for the many other ecosystem services they provide. These ecosystem services generate benefits for local communities and wider society. A key part of any fisheries management programme must be to ensure the healthy condition of the resources and ecosystems being fished. Without this, the harvests are likely to be reduced and/or unsustainable. As the ecosystem plays other important roles in many economies (e.g. its contribution to tourism) than concern for the wider ecosystem is likely to affect pressure from the local economy on the resource.

There is a growing emphasis being placed on the larger scales involved in fisheries management to begin to address some of these larger ecological issues. LMEs, Seascapes, Marine Ecoregions, Regional Seas and ICM are examples.

Addressing the wider ecosystem needs will often require combining several approaches to management. MPAs are often considered by many to be a central tool in marine ecosystem-based management in tropical inshore fisheries but MPAs are part of a larger group of marine management areas which might include no-take zones, buffer zones, limited access zones - all of which have a role to play in fisheries management depending on the local context.

Critical Questions

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?