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Cochrane, K.L. (ed.)
A fishery manager’s guidebook. Management measures and their application.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 424. Rome, FAO. 2002. 231p.

This publication was prepared to promote and to provide support in the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, especially Article 7: Fisheries Management. As such it is also intended to supplement the FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries No. 4: Fisheries Management. It is intended primarily for the practising fishery manager and decision-maker, with particular emphasis on developing countries, although it is hoped that the volume will also be of interest to managers in developed countries.

Fisheries management is a complex and evolving discipline and much is still being learnt about what it involves, what works and what doesn’t. The problem is compounded by the fact that fisheries management as a coherent discipline is still poorly defined and frequently equally poorly understood. This publication strives to identify the primary tasks in management of capture fisheries, with particular emphasis on sustainable utilization of the biological resources, and to demonstrate how these tasks should be undertaken in an integrated and coordinated manner to obtain the desired benefits from the biological resources in a sustainable and responsible manner.

The Guidebook is divided into nine different chapters, individually authored by experts in the field from around the world. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to fisheries management, discussing what it is and who or what is the fishery manager. It discusses the inter-relationships between goals and objectives and management plans, measures and strategies, and examines some of the primary issues which need to be considered by the managers in executing their task.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the different types of fishing gear used in fisheries and the impacts each can have on the target species, bycatch species and rest of the ecosystem and discusses how management can regulate the use and characteristics of fishing gear. Chapter 3 examines the role of closed areas and closed seasons in fisheries management, considering the different goals they can serve and their potential advantages and disadvantages. Consideration of a number of case studies demonstrates their use in practice. Chapter 4 examines direct input (effort) and output (catch) control in fisheries and provides insight into different types of input and output control, the structures and capacity needed for their application, and some of the more common problems that can be encountered in using them. All of these management measures and strategies should be developed in order to achieve the agreed objectives for the fishery, and Chapter 5 describes how the fisheries manager can determine the most appropriate strategies for their objectives, with particular emphasis on the role and use of scientific and other information on the fishery and the resources it exploits.

It is now generally accepted that open access fisheries are biologically, economically and socially damaging and Chapter 6 examines the topical question of allocating use rights in fisheries. It discusses the nature and forms of use rights and how they are implemented. It demonstrates that use rights are also a form of management measure and different systems of use rights will assist in achieving different objectives. Chapter 7 continues the emphasis on the user groups or interested parties and considers the importance of involving these parties as partners in fisheries management. It presents the different scopes and scales which such partnerships can cover, and examines the benefits and problems in managing in partnership, including the conditions required for effective partnerships.

Finally, Chapter 9 describes the importance of formulating management plans and what should be included in fisheries management plans. It examines their implementation and the need to review them periodically. It also provides some case studies of their development and role in a range of fishery types.

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