Fisheries management. 2. The ecosystem approach to fisheries. 2.2 The human dimensions of the ecosystem approach to fisheries

FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 4, Suppl. 2, Add. 2

Fisheries management
2. The ecosystem approach to fisheries
2.2 The human dimensions of the ecosystem approach to fisheries






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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2009


ABSTRACT

FAO.
Fisheries management. 2. The ecosystem approach to fisheries. 2.2 The human dimensions of the ecosystem approach to fisheries.
FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 4, Suppl. 2, Add. 2. Rome, FAO. 2009. 88p.

These Guidelines have been developed in response to requests for further information on the practical adoption and application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF), with a special focus on its human dimensions. As implementation of EAF is a human pursuit and takes place in the context of societal goals and aspirations, the human forces at play need to be understood and considered. These are manifest in a variety of ways and include policies, legal frameworks, social structures, cultural values, economic principles, institutional processes and any other relevant form or expression of human behaviour. In summary, the human dimensions play the following four roles in EAF:

  1. social, economic and institutional objectives and factors are driving forces behind the need for EAF management;
  2. the costs and benefits to individuals and to society of applying the EAF have social, economic and institutional impacts and implications;
  3. the application of social, economic and institutional instruments are all crucial for successful implementation of the EAF; and
  4. social, economic and institutional factors present in fishery systems can play either supporting or constraining roles in EAF implementation.

Although the need for ecosystem-based approaches has reached a point of general acceptance by those involved in fisheries and their management, there remains in some quarters a sense of frustration at the management and policy levels regarding how the EAF should be applied in practice. Some questions that can occur are: “Is there a standard approach to EAF and what are the common paths?”; “What are the EAF information needs?”; “What are the EAF costs and benefits and how are different issues assessed and prioritized? “What mechanisms and approaches exist that would assist in the implementation of EAF?”; “What is adaptive management and how are indicators used in EAF?”; “How can an EAF be sustained in the longer term?”; “Are there special requirements with regard to developing countries and when implementing EAF in a poverty context?”; and “How is EAF implemented in practice – what are the different steps and activities?”.



CONTENTS

Preparation of this document
Abstract
Foreword


INTRODUCTION

 

Why guidelines on the human dimensions of the EAF?
The EAF history and rationale
Purpose and structure of these Guideline


PART I: OVERVIEW OF THE EAF PROCESS AND ITS CONTEXT
1. EAF – HOW DOES IT START AND WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STEPS?

1.1
1.2

Motivations for initiating an EAF
The EAF process


2. UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF THE EAF CONTEXT

2.1

2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7

The fishery system: the starting point for defining the scope of the EAF
Boundaries and scales
Identifying stakeholders
Understanding societal goals and values
Human values of ecosystem services
Legal policy and institutional frameworks
The socio-economic context


3. INFORMATION FOR EAF

3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7

The "best available information" principle
Information systems
Integrating different knowledge systems
Sources and types of data and information
Participation in information systems
Interdisciplinarity
Raising awareness and communication strategies



PART II: FACILITATING EAF PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
1. EAF ASSESSMENT AND PRIORITIZATION PROCESSES

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

Identification of issues and decision-making
Assessment of costs and benefits
Risk assessment and management
Distributional impacts


2. MECHANISMS FOR EAF IMPLEMENTATION

2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5

Enabling legal frameworks
Appropriate institutional arrangements
Capacity development
Incentives
Adopting a sustainable livelihoods approach


3. ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT AND THE USE OF INDICATORS

3.1
3.2

Managing uncertainty
Indicators


4. SUSTAINING AN EAF

4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4

Long-term process
Political commitment and public awareness
Legal flexibility and harmonization
Financing of EAF implementation


5. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND EAF IN A POVERTY CONTEXT


PART III: EAF IN PRACTICE

1. THE EAF PROCESS

2. INITIATION AND PREPARATION

3. IDENTIFICATION OF PRIORITY ISSUES AND FORMULATION OF EAF POLICY

4. DEVELOPMENT OF AN EAF MANAGEMENT PLAN AND ITS OBJECTIVES

5. IMPLEMENTATION

6. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

7. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS


GLOSSARY




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