In preparation for the second workshop on Factors of Unsustainability, reviews will be prepared to analyse how the main aims of fishery management, as embodied in international instruments, interact with sustainability in various fisheries. Consistent with the first workshop (Bangkok, February 2-4, 2002 - FAO Fisheries Report No. 672), the framework considers four components of sustainability: bio-ecological, social (includes community sustainability), economic, and institutional.
The reviews will cover types of fisheries rather than focus on geographical aspects. However, it is recognised that the two aspects may get confounded (i.e. some type of fisheries only occur in some areas). Each review will briefly describe the main characteristics of the fishery.
Relevant articles of the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 (Agenda 21), of the UN Agreement For The Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on The Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA), the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), the FAO Compliance Agreement, the International Plans of Actions for the Management of Capacity (IPOA-Capacity) and on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU) were reviewed. The main aims identified are presented in the following section.
2. MAIN AIMS OF FISHERY MANAGEMENT
The formulations vary from one instrument to the next, but the message is similar. The main bio-ecological aim is to protect, conserve, and restore fishery resources, the environment, the habitat, the ecosystem and the bio-diversity. Overfishing should be prevented, and restoration (of the resource, the habitat, the ecosystem) should target conditions capable of producing the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). Although multispecies and ecosystem concerns were already included in UNCLOS, subsequent instruments placed more emphasis on these aspects, including the protection of bio-diversity. This aim can be found in UNCLOS 61.2, 61.3, 61.4, in Agenda 21 - 17.46a, b, c, e, f, 17.74f, in UNFSA 5a, d, e, f, g, k, and in CCRF 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.6, 6.8, 7.1.1, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.3.1.
Four main social aims are pursued. The optimum utilisation of the harvested product by maintaining the nutritional value of harvested products and avoiding waste is found in UNCLOS 62.1 and CCRF 6.7. States and regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) should also ensure safe, healthy and fair working environments and conditions (CCRF 6.17), they should consider aquaculture as a means to promote diversification of income and diet (CCRF 6.19), and they should assist developing countries (Compliance agreement VII).
Three principle economic aims have been identified. UNCLOS (62.2) calls for coastal States to determine its capacity to harvest the living resources of its exclusive economic zone and to make excess resources available to other States. Implicitly, this is an appeal to match fishing capacity to the productive capacity of the resources, the environment and the ecosystem. Such appeals can be found explicitly in CCRF 6.3, 7.1.8, 7.2.2, in UNFSA 5h, and, of course, in IPOA-capacity paragraph 7, but also in Part. III, section 1 (paragraphs 11 to 15).
The second economic aims include the conduct of trade according to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules (CCRF 6.14), including the elimination of subsidies (IPOA capacity Part III, sect. II).
States have also agreed to prevent illegally caught fish from reaching their markets (IPOA-IUU paragraph 66)
By and large, the largest number and most diversified aims of the international instruments deal with institutional aspects of sustainability.
The need to use the best scientific information (on resources, the environment, and the ecosystem) appears in almost all instruments while the inclusion of socio-economic studies and the traditional knowledge is more recent. This aim implies the obligation to collect and disseminate statistics, evaluate the cost effectiveness, efficiency, and socio-economic effects of alternative management measures, and the revision or elimination of inefficient or useless measures: CCRF 6.4, 7.2.1, 7.4.3, 7.4.4, 7.4.5, 7.6.7, 7.6.8, UNCLOS 61.5, 62.3, Agenda 21 - 17.46g, 17.74b, UNFSA 5b, j, k, Compliance agreement VI.
The requirement to apply the precautionary approach to conservation and management (including the identification of reference points) was included in UNFSA (5c) and in the CCRF (6.5, 7.5.1, 7.5.3). States and regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) are required to do monitoring, control and surveillance, in their areas of jurisdiction but also for those vessels flying their flags on the high seas (CCRF 6.10, 6.11, 7.1.7, UNCLOS 62.4, Agenda 21 - 17.46d, UNFSA 5l, Compliance agreement III, IV, IPOA-IUU 9.1), or of foreign vessels using their ports (IPOA-IUU 52). Similarly, States and RFMOs should Cooperate with other States and other RFMOs to promote conservation and responsible fishing (CCRF 6.12, 7.1.3), and to resolve dispute peacefully (CCRF 6.15, 7.3.3, Compliance agreement Art. V, VI,VIII, IX).
States and RFMOs should implement transparent decision making process and involve interested parties (CCRF 6.13, 7.1.2, 7.1.6, 7.1.9).
States and RFMOs should promote the awareness of responsible fisheries through education and training (CCRF 6.16, 7.1.10).
States should duly take into account the interest of their fisheries in planning the multiple uses of coastal areas (CCRF 6.9, 6.18, 7.2.2, UNFSA 5i).
The main aims of fishery management are summarised in the following text table:
1. Conserve and restore
1. Optimum utilisation
1. Manage capacity
1.Use best information
3. FACTORS OF UNSUSTAINABILITY
The first workshop identified six groups of factors leading to unsustainability:
1. Inappropriate incentives, including market distortions: Currently, many fisheries operate in response to incentives (economic and others) that promote unsustainable practices rather than sustainable ones.
2. High demand for limited resources: Demand for fish is seen as expanding for most markets, with sustainable supply becoming increasingly limited. Higher prices may result which provide an incentive for further input expansion - generally more so in fisheries that are already overexploited.
3. Poverty and lack of alternatives: Conditions of poverty and lack of employment or livelihood alternatives still occur on a significant scale, particularly but not only, in developing countries.
4. Complexity and inadequate knowledge (social, economic, bio-ecological): The complexity of many fisheries systems as well as inadequate information and understanding make it hard to identify proper courses of action.
5. Lack of governance: (conflicting objectives, lack of attention, will and authority): The inability to implement required management measures by legitimate authorities (including the absence of appropriate institutions) contributes to unsustainability.
6. Interactions of the fishery sector with other sectors, and the environment: These factors are in most cases beyond the control of the fisheries sector but need to be better accounted for.
4. PATHS TO SOLUTION
Paths to solution identified in the Bangkok Workshop are provided below. The factors of unsustainability they could possibly address are indicated in parenthesis.
1. Rights: The granting of secure rights to resource users (individually or collectively) for use of a portion of the catch, space, or other relevant aspects of the fishery (1).
2. Transparent, participatory, management: The granting of a meaningful role to stakeholders in the full range of management (e.g. planning, science, legislation, implementation) (1,2,5).
3. Support to science, planning and enforcement: Providing the resources necessary for all aspects of management of the fishery (4,5).
4. Benefit distribution: Using economic tools to distribute benefits from the fishery to address community and economic sustainability (1,3).
5. Integrated policy: Planning fisheries, including setting explicit objectives that address all the dimensions of sustainability and the interactions among the factors of unsustainability (1,3).
6. Precautionary approach: Application according to FAO guidance (4,6).
7. Capacity building and public awareness rising: Development and application of programmes to better inform policy makers and the public at large about main fisheries issues (5).
8. Market Incentives: Using market tools in situations where they are appropriate for addressing factors of unsustainability (1,2).
The summary of main factors of unsustainability and paths to solutions presented in the report of The Bangkok Workshop is reproduced below:
Main factors of unsustainability
Paths to solutions
1. Inappropriate incentives
For each main aim of fishery management, the reviews will:
Assess the difficulties and obstacles to effective implementation: is the aim understood? what factor of unsustainability identified in The Bangkok Workshop is impeding effective implementation and how?
what lessons can be learned from the implementation;
what instruments are missing;
how can the difficulties and obstacles be overcome.
To achieve the above, the following structure is proposed:
1. Is fishery management successfully achieving the four components of sustainability?
a. Bio-ecological component of sustainability
Does the organization (national/regional/provincial government and or regional fishery management organization) responsible for fishery management understand that its main bio-ecological aim is to protect, conserve, and restore fishery resources, the environment, the habitat, the ecosystem and bio-diversity; that overfishing should be prevented, and that the resources, the habitat and the ecosystems should be restored to conditions capable of producing the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), taking into account multispecies and ecosystem considerations?
What concrete actions substantiate that the organization does/does not understand its main bio-ecological aim?
b. Social component of sustainability
Does the organization (national/regional/provincial government and or regional fishery management organization) responsible for fishery management understand that its main social aims are to achieve optimum utilisation of the resource, ensure safe, healthy and fair working environments and conditions, that they aquaculture should be considered a means to promote diversification of income and diet, and that they should assist developing countries.
What concrete actions substantiate that the organization does/does not understand its main social aim?
c. Economic component of sustainability
Does the organization (national/regional/provincial government and or regional fishery management organization) responsible for fishery management understand that its main economic aims are to match fishing capacity to the productive capacity of the resources, the environment and the ecosystem; to conduct trade according to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including the elimination of subsidies and to prevent illegally caught fish from reaching their markets.
What concrete actions substantiate that the organization does/does not understand its main economic aim?
d. Institutional component of sustainability
Does the organization (national/regional/provincial government and or regional fishery management organization) responsible for fishery management understand that its main institutional aims are to use the best scientific information (on resources, the environment, the ecosystem, on social and economic factors, including traditional knowledge, the collection and dissemination of statistics, the evaluation of the cost effectiveness, efficiency, and socio-economic effects of alternative management measures, and the revision or elimination of inefficient or useless measures); to apply the precautionary approach to conservation and management; to do monitoring, control and surveillance, in their areas of jurisdiction but also for those vessels flying their flags on the high seas or of foreign vessels using their ports; to co-operate with other States and other RFMOs to promote conservation and responsible fishing, and to resolve dispute peacefully; to implement transparent decision making process and involve interested parties; to promote the awareness of responsible fisheries through education and training; and to duly take into account the interest of their fisheries in planning the multiple use of coastal areas. What concrete actions substantiate that the organization does/does not understand its main institutional aim?
2. Why is fishery management successful (or not)?
How are the main factors of unsustainability identified in the Bangkok Workshop (1. Inappropriate incentives 2. High demand for limited resources 3. Poverty and lack of alternatives 4. Complexity and lack of knowledge 5. Lack of governance 6. Interactions of the fishery sector with other sectors, and the environment) interacting with the achievement of the bio-ecological, social, economic, and institutional components of sustainability?
What other factors are impeding the achievement of the four dimensions of sustainability?
What lessons can be learned from the implementation of fishery management?
3. How can the difficulties and obstacles be overcome?
The first workshop concluded that the main problem was not the lack of instruments, but the lack of implementation of existing instruments. Is that statement true for the type of fishery you are reviewing? If not, what instruments are missing?
If there are no instruments missing, how could the main aim of fishery management be better achieved?
How could the paths to solutions identified in the Bangkok Workshop (Allocation of Rights, transparent, participatory, management, support to science, enforcement, planning, benefit distribution, integrated policy, precautionary approach, capacity building and public awareness building, and market Incentives) help to overcome the difficulties and obstacles to successful implementation of fishery management.
If the fishery management arrangement is deemed to be successful, this section could be used to describe how the difficulties and obstacles have been overcome, following a similar approach, i.e. linked to the paths of solution identified in The Bangkok Workshop and identifying any instrument that could be missing.
TYPES OF FISHERIES
Tunas and large pelagic fisheries: this type of fishery should cover principally the large scale tuna and billfish fisheries by large longliners and purse seiners. These fleets operate in almost all of the world oceans. Fishery management is through a combination of regional fishery management organizations (ICCAT, IATTC, IOTC, CCSBT) and national organizations. The principal component of this review should deal with the fleets identified above, but it should also cover possible interactions under the four components of sustainability of the large vessel fleets on local artisanal and/or recreational fleets.
Large volume small pelagic fisheries: this type of fishery is characteristically conducted by a relatively small number of large vessels, it either has a relatively small by-catch of non-directed species, or can be conducted in such a way that by-catch is minimised. The main gear is the purse seine or mid-water trawling. Such fisheries are found in the Northeast Atlantic (herring, mackerel, capelin, blue whiting), off the coast of West Africa (sardinella) and Southern Africa (sardines and anchovy) and in the Southeast Pacific (horse mackerel, sardines, anchovy), off the West Coast of South America (Chile, Peru). Some fisheries are close to an idealised single-species fishery, others exploit a species mix considered and managed more or less as a single-species (sardinella), while the sardine-anchovy fisheries exploit a species mix. Although the largest part of the landings is caught by large industrialised vessels, there is generally an interaction with smaller scale artisanal fleets that catch the same species in waters closer to shore.
Large volume demersals: this type of fishery is at the root of western modern fishery science and fishery management. Bottom trawl predominates, but various other types of towed (Danish and Scottish seines) or fixed gear (gillnet, set lines, hand lines) may also be used. Vessels range from relatively large vessels towing bottom trawls, to nearshore handlining or fixed nets vessels. These fisheries can be more or less single species (hake off South Africa/Namibia), or multispecies (North Sea). Such fisheries are also found in South Atlantic (hake), and in the North Pacific (Alaskan pollock). These fisheries can be multigear and multinational.
Multispecies tropical fisheries: these fisheries are really multispecies and multigear. They are the worst nightmare of traditional western modern fishery science: in addition to the diversity of species and gears, there is also a large number of landing areas, with relatively small landings in each landing area, making it difficult, if not impossible to collect statistics. These fisheries occur in South East Asia, off West Africa and off Eastern South America. In these fisheries, it may be illusory to consider bio-ecological sustainability at the scale of individual species.
Reef fisheries: Reef fish fisheries are extremely diverse, have many users (commercial, artisanal, recreational, and scientific), and vary greatly by location and species. Anglers fish for food, commerce, sport, and trophies. They operate from charterboats, headboats, private boats, and shore while using fish traps, hook and line, longlines, spears, trammel nets, bang sticks, and barrier nets.
Reef fish fisheries are associated closely with fisheries for other reef animals including spiny lobster, conch, stone crab, corals, and living rock and ornamental aquarium species. Nonconsumptive uses of reef resources (e.g. ecotourism, sport diving, education, and scientific research) also are economically important and can conflict with traditional commercial and recreational fisheries.[...] Fishery data collection remains difficult because there are diverse users, and landings are made at many ports.
Fishing pressure has increased with growing human populations, greater demands for fishery products, and technological improvements, such as longlines, wire fish traps, electronic fish finders, and navigational aids.
Shrimp fisheries: the type of shrimp fisheries covered by the review is conducted by trawls with small mesh. They are generally economically profitable, but have an associated by-catch. Cold water shrimp fisheries face problems and challenges that are different from those of tropical shrimp fisheries.
Dataless fishery management: descriptions of this can be found at:
 The list of instruments for
each main aim is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive.|
 Schirripa, M., Phares, P., Harper, D. 1999. Our living Oceans, Unit 8. http://spo.nwr.noaa.gov/unit08.pdf