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EAF Steps

Activity 4.1 - Develop an operational plan and monitor its progress

Purpose

To document all of the relevant activities, both current and any additional activities, processes and resources that will be required to fully implement the proposed EAF management plan for the fishery.

Overview

The Operational Plan provides detail on the major activities, timelines and resource requirements (the who and how) for implementing the EAF Management Plan (the what and why). The following steps have been identified as suggestions in developing and filling in an operational framework to develop the operational plan for a fishery.

The process requires going through each of the high priority EAF issues, one by one where a management system has been developed or where any actions are required. For each of these determining precisely what activities, processes etc would need to be done for each of these to be implemented. For most issues there will be a number of different activities that will need to be done often involving multiple people or sections.

  • First develop a complete list of all the identified issues that are to be directly managed to ensure they will all be covered by the operational plan.
  • Then starting with the most important of the issues identified as part of the EAF planning process clearly and precisely determine what needs to be done and by whom and when for the management system for this issue to be fully implemented. Then move progressively to the next most important issue and repeat the process.
  • While the management systems for some issues may seem to be the same (i.e. Management and monitoring arrangements for two target species) keep them separate until it is clear that the activities to address them are completely identical - often there may be subtle but important differences. If they are ultimately found to be covered completely by the same activity then they can be combined.
  • It may also be necessary to have some separation of activities based on whether there are dealing with different functional components to the fishery – inshore, offshore, inside EEZ, high seas etc. Undertaking consultation may be very different for these different groups and separate activities may therefore need to be generated.
  • The process should clearly identify where there are changes needed by the implementation or modification of legislation, regulations, licence conditions or policies. If so, these need to be scheduled in.
  • The process should also identify the activities that maybe outside the scope or jurisdiction of the fisheries agency. In these circumstances it may require advising other government departments of the issues they should be dealing with. Such interdepartmental governance issues are often a high risk area.
  • Once all the issues have been examined, the assignment of priorities and timelines should be undertaken by the relevant fisheries agency, in conjunction with any relevant advisory committee.

EAF Tool Tips

  • We have found it works best by making an Excel Spreadsheet Table that uses the headings from Appendix Table 1 as columns so that the information in the table can be sorted easily by category, priority, person, issue, etc.
  • The only practical way to go through and generate the list of activities for each issue is by having a meeting with enough representatives from the fishery agency that all parts of their operations are covered. Each issue is then discussed in detail and there is agreement about what would need to happen for the identified task to be completed.
  • It is vital that there is agreement by the fisheries agency about what activities are to be done and who will do this. Clearly, if they don’t agree they won’t do it!
  • It is also absolutely necessary that there is a realistic assessment of whether any identified new tasks can actually be accommodated by the available level of resources. Again there is no point stating that something will be done if there are insufficient resources to do it. It is still useful to identify what must be done but it must also be documented that for this to occur more resources would be needed (either additional or re-directed).
  • Given the size of many fisheries agencies, it will be very common that there will be too few resources to undertake all the identified tasks. That is why it is very important to have a priority rating for each task, including those that are currently being undertaken, and what are the risks of something is not done.
  • This may identify that some tasks that are currently being undertaken have a lower priority and risk level than some identified tasks that are not currently being done. Such situations may allow a shift in resources to occur.
  • The process may identify that the proposed set of management arrangements are really not possible to implement with the available resources. In this case there should be a revision of expectations.

EAF Tool Pedigree

The use of operational plans to implement business plans is extremely common whereby the business plan often has a five year timeline and a new operational plan is developed each 12 months.

In the context of EAF, it was identified when trying to develop new EAF management plans for the tuna fisheries in the Pacific that many new plans had been developed for countries over the years but most of these had not been implemented. A major reason for this lack of implementation was that there was no clear plan for how the staff of the fisheries agencies was to start doing the new activities and there was no real assessment of whether the new plan was realistic. The discipline involved in going through this process helps make it more likely that the activities will be undertaken or it is realised that they can’t be and a reassessment of the proposed management system is required.

EAF Tool Synergy

The outputs from this assessment could easily be used as inputs with any of the project management system software.

EAF Tool Usage

Easy

Cost

Low

The template is free, the main cost is the time of staff and relevant stakeholders to go through the management plan and arrangements to identify who and what needs to be done.

EAF Tool Capacity

Low

This requires no formal training.

Background Requirements

Low

The only knowledge required is of the people and resources that are available and what is to be done.

Participation

Low

This will mostly be done by a small group of mostly agency staff with some input from key stakeholders where necessary and appropriate.

Time Range

Short

It should be possible to complete this in a few hours to a few days at most.

Source of Information

Fletcher, W.J. 2010 Planning processes for the management of the tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Region using an Ecosystem Approach. Internet resource
Resources for Implementing the WWF Project and Programme Standards. Step 2.3 Design Operational Plan Internet resource

Appendix

Table of categories and activities

Table 1. Possible headings for use the spreadsheet template

HEADING CATEGORY DESCRIPTION
Elements and Sub issue The name of the management element and sub issue
Type of Activity What category of activity is this – e.g. Administration, Research, Monitoring, Compliance etc.
Current Activities Are there already activities being undertaken?
Current Resources What are the current resources available for this task
Current Status What is the current status – ok, not ok?

Regulations/ Notices

/Condition/fines

What legislation etc is needed for the activity/process to operate?
New Activities Are there new activities needed to enable the management of the issue to occur?
Additional Resources Are additional resources needed to undertake the new activities?
Training Will this require training?
Priority What overall priority does this activity have?
Risk of failure? What could stop the activity being successful and how could you mitigate this?
Timeframes What is the proposed timeframe for undertaking the activity?
Risk if not undertaken or fails? What is the risk if this activity is not done in the required timeframe?

Table 2 Possible types of activities

Note the types of activities listed below can be adjusted (split, renamed or new types) to suit the structure and activities of the relevant fisheries agency. They are only presented as a starting point.
Type of Activity DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES
Administration/Licensing Includes the collection of fees, issuing of licences and basic administration activities
Compliance Those that determine if vessels/licenses are complying with their license conditions. This could include VMS activities, onboard inspections, patrol vessel activities, inspecting vessel logs. Validating catch reports etc.
Consultation Those associated with consulting with industry, other stakeholders and other agencies
Observers Those undertaken by onboard observers
Onshore Monitoring Monitoring the catches in port
Other Agency Activities that agencies other than the fishery agency would need to undertake
Ministry Things that the fisheries Minister or their office would need to undertake
Policy/Management The development of policies, management plans
Research Generation of assessments on the status of the stocks, or other information needed to make policy
Training Training staff, industry etc
 
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