This report provides a concise summary of the "fishery co-management" concept. It builds on the vast experience already gained in fishery co-management in the Asia-Pacific region that has been led, in the main, by projects supported by donors. It is argued that given the short-term success of many of these projects, and the adoption of decentralization policies in many countries in the region, it is timely to move fishery management more into mainstream, government-supported management processes (i.e. mainstream fisheries management).
Four pillars for successful mainstreaming of fisheries management are described: (i) enabling policy and legislation; (ii) empowering communities; (iii) linkages and institutions; and (iv) resources, both people and money. While recognising the differences among countries in the region, it is important to consider all of these concurrently and adopt an adaptive learning process whereby lessons learnt are shared and best practices promoted.
It is hoped that the foundations laid down by this report will assist governments and other major stakeholders to mainstream fishery co-management into national management regimes. This report formed the concept paper for the recent Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming Fishery Co-management that developed an action plan that sets out collective action to be implemented by national governments, regional fishery bodies, resource users and non-government organizations. The report of the workshop can be found on the APFIC website: www.apfic.org.
Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific