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FAO Fishery Resources Division and Fishery Policy and Planning Division. Fisheries management. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 4. Rome, FAO. 1997. 82p.


These Guidelines have been produced to support the implementation of Article 7 of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, with some reference to Article 12. They are addressed primarily to the decision-makers within fisheries management authorities and other interest groups, including fishing companies, fishers' organizations, concerned non-governmental organizations and others.

The Guidelines provide a background to the need for fisheries management and an introduction to the activities encompassed by fisheries management. They introduce the major constraints experienced in fisheries and fisheries management and some of the fundamental concepts related to these. Biological, environmental, technological, socio-cultural and economic constraints and concepts are examined.

Information is fundamental to responsible fisheries management and these Guidelines put emphasis on the range of data required for informed decision-making and examine aspects of the collection and interpretation of these data. Data are discussed in terms of three suggested scales in fisheries management: fisheries policy and development planning, formulation of management plans and implementation of management action.

The range of possible management actions is outlined. This includes technical measures, such as gear restrictions, and more direct approaches in the form of direct catch limitation or effort limitation. The problems associated with open access fisheries are explained and comments made on the means to limit access and obstacles which may be encountered in this process.

Finally, the Guidelines examine the management process. This section covers the process of agreeing on a management plan for a fishery, including the need for consultation and, where appropriate, cooperative decision-making. The need for periodic review of management plans is stressed. The importance of an effective legal framework, institutional and administrative structures and monitoring control and surveillance are described.

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