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10.1 The Report as a Work of Art

The final report of a sector study is as brief, economical and as readable as possible. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of it as a serious work of art which conveys a truthful picture of the fishing economy. It picks out the key strengths of the industry at the same time as stating those areas where there is potential which remains unfulfilled. It also draws attention to those features of the industry which deduct value from the national economy or generate damage in other ways.

Consultants entrusted with the preparation of a sector study should take care to source their factual information and to highlight the difference between their professional judgement and established facts.

10.2 List of Chapter Headings

The following list of possible section headings for a sector study is not definitive and the material could be organized in other ways.


A. Macroeconomic Information

This section should give a clear summary of the current macroeconomic policies of the country. It will include summary information on the following:

B. The Role of Fisheries in the Economy

Contribution of the fisheries sector to GNP, employment, international trade, per caput consumption of animal protein over time, etc. Linkages (6.4) are important in this chapter. Also note 6.19 on foreign exchange and 6.22 on credit.

C. Institutional Framework

A description of the private and public sector institutions involved in fisheries and related industries. The Fisheries Authorities (6.7), Other Institutions (6.8) and Industry Structure (6.14), should be noted. Research (6.11) will also be included here.


This chapter provides a description of government policies towards the fisheries sector, including an assessment of external assistance and financial flows.

An important issue that needs to be investigated under this heading is the consistency of the government's objectives and policies. For example, governments may seek to maximise employment, production and profitability, which are usually incompatible objectives.

Many governments have policy statements which have a relevance to the fisheries sector. For example, in the present climate, policy statements are frequently supportive of private sector development. However, governments, through their fisheries department, may continue to have, and be unwilling to relinquish, a direct involvement in commercial activities. In another example, governments may have a general policy of seeking to maximise economic welfare but be reluctant to adopt specific policies in the fisheries sector which would contribute to this aim, such as adopting measures to limit access to fish resources.


It may be convenient to divide this chapter into discrete areas of activity, e.g.:


An analysis of markets is important because understanding and developing markets for fish and fish products is fundamental to the development of the industry.

The objective of this chapter is to assess the current situation and reach a realistic view of what might be attainable. For example, in domestic markets it may be possible to increase the value of fish, as perceived by consumers, by providing hygienic public fish markets. In export markets, it may be possible to increase the valuation of fish through a programme of training in quality management together with credible quality assurance certification.

A possible way in which this chapter might be structured is as follows:

Relevant sections of the Guide include The Human Resource (6.13), Marketing (6.20) and Hygiene Standards (6.21).


  1. Capture Fisheries

    Fish resources are the main strategic asset of the fishing industry. Therefore, alongside the biological analysis there should be a review of the access arrangements to the relevant resources and, inter alia, a review of the legal and institutional aspects of fisheries management.

  2. Aquaculture

    The strategic assets for aquaculture include rights to land and water, and to coastal areas for industry activities.

    Relevant sections include Fish Resources as Strategic Assets (6.1), Sustainable Development (6.2), Externalities (6.3), Technical Aspects (6.5), Fisheries Authorities (6.7), Other Institutions (6.8), Legislative Framework (6.9), Monitoring and Enforcement of Management Regulations (6.10), and Research (6.11).


A. Internal

In this chapter, the strengths and weaknesses are assessed of institutions in the public and private sectors.

Relationships between the fisheries authorities and other institutions inside and outside the country can be important in enhancing or diminishing the value of the fisheries sector to the country. The analysis should include, therefore, consideration of the influence of the institutions in the fisheries sector on other related institutions, such as in other economic sectors, in water use, and in coastal area management.

Two important concerns are as follows:

B. External

The study should draw attention to the relationship of the public and private sectors to institutions outside the country.

There may be a number of different external connections to identify. For example, for capture fisheries, access to fishing grounds elsewhere may be important; there may be trans-boundary environmental impacts which affect the sector; foreign fishing industries may be an important source of innovation; access to foreign markets may need to be negotiated; other States may wish to obtain access to the country's EEZ; etc.

Relevant sections of the Guide include Sustainable Development (6.2), Externalities (6.3), Conflicts Between Interest Groups (6.6), Fisheries Authorities (6.7), Other Institutions (6.8), Legislative Framework (6.9), Monitoring and Enforcement of Management Regulations (6.10), Research (6.11), The Human Resource-Distinctive Capabilities (6.13), Industry Structure (6.14), Innovation (6.15), and Privatisation (6.16).


In this chapter, each subsector of the industry is evaluated as a source of added value for the country concerned.

For each subsector of the industry a clear view must be taken of the benefits it is currently generating and the potential benefits, if any. The analysis might be structured as follows:

Most of the individual parts of section 6 are relevant to this chapter of the sector study.


The fundamental issue to be addressed in this chapter is whether any particular community or social group is being harmed by the development of the sector, with a special focus on the poorer members of the society. Some examples are as follows: in fisheries development, artisanal fishermen can easily become victims of the development of industrial fishing methods; coastal aquaculture development has sometimes been damaging to artisanal fishermen or to small farmers; the creation of a new outlet for fish, e.g., a cannery, may remove fish from the traditional distribution system.

Under this heading, it is also important to identify the impact of fisheries development, and any possible changes of direction, on women.

Note especially Social Issues (6.12), but also Sustainable Development (6.2), Externalities (6.3), Conflicts Between Interest Groups (6.6), The Human Resource-Distinctive Capabilities (6.13), Food Security (6.17), Nutrition (6.18), and Credit (6.22).


Fisheries development can be a cause of environmental damage and it can also be the victim of adverse environmental change. In this chapter, more important issues should be identified.

Sections on Sustainable Development (6.2) and Externalities (6.3) are relevant.


Based on the information generated by the study, the beginning of this chapter might be a convenient place to review and propose modifications, if necessary, to the government's expressed goals (national and/or sectoral), and objectives for the sector.

The chapter would then summarize the steps that need to be taken to sustain current benefits and to generate future benefits.

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