The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to the sponsors of fisheries sector1 studies. The sponsor is normally the government of the country concerned. It may also be a technical cooperation agency, a development bank or some other entity working in cooperation with the government.
The document will also guide the executors of such studies-commercial consultancy organizations, multilateral institutions, and others-on the scope of such sector studies and the approach which may be adopted in their commission and execution.
Sector studies will vary greatly from one country to another. In some countries, the management and development of artisanal fisheries may be of paramount importance to governments, whilst in others a critical issue may be over-investment in long-distance fishing. Aquaculture may be highly developed in some countries, with some of the environmental problems which are associated with intensive aquaculture practice, whilst in others governments may be seeking ways to establish a sound aquaculture subsector. It is evidently not possible to provide, in a single document, detailed advice on the information which should be selected and the issues which should be considered. Instead, this Guide seeks to establish the common principles which should underlie any fisheries sector study.
1In this Guide, “fisheries sector” and “fish industry” are used interchangeably to denote the entire system for the production and distribution of fish. The normal definition of “industry” is a group of firms associated by common technology or supply or distribution channels (Kay, 1993). In many important respects, aquaculture and fish capture belong to different “industries”, because much of the fundamental technology differs. However, there are enough similarities, certainly in distribution and marketing, and at the margins, in production, to justify considering them together as one industry.
Reference is made in this document to the need for a sector study team to consider unpriced environmental effects which have their origin outside the sector but have an impact upon it, and those which have their origin within the sector. In this connection, readers are referred to a document “Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries within Integrated Coastal Management” (provisional title) currently in preparation and to be published by FAO in 1995.