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EAF Steps

Activity 4.2 - Formalisation of the Management 'plan'

Purpose

Many of the management arrangements needed to achieve the operational objectives will be of a ‘restrictive’ or legal nature and therefore will have to be formalised into some form of ‘Management Plan.’ For fisheries where this management plan needs to be a formal, legal document often requiring parliamentary approval, this tool outlines the structure of management plans that have been successfully developed in a number of countries that can be used to guide development. This should increase the chances of having your plan approved/endorsed by Government (including any required change in, or new, legislation and regulation) or other relevant authority.

Overview

Chapter 9 of FAO’s A fishery manager’s guidebook outlines the basic elements that should be in a fishery management plan (FMP) and how to design and structure this (see also link below). The appendix includes the examples of management plans that were presented in this chapter.

This report suggests that at a minimum FMPs should contain:

  • a description of the fishery especially its current status and any established user rights;
  • the management objectives;
  • how these objectives are to be achieved;
  • how the plan is to be reviewed and/or appealed; and the consultation process for review and appeal.

Additional Information on Management plans

A list of links is provided below to where copies of Fisheries Management Plans for many fisheries can be downloaded. In addition to these links you can type in the words Fishery Management Plan or Fishery Plan into Google or other search engine. The New Zealand website has a knowledge basket that allows you to see all their historical legislation and regulations.

EAF Tool Tips

One of the most basic requirements recognised in FMPs is the adherence to the, internationally sanctioned, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (LOS Convention), the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the precautionary approach to management. As EAF is consistent with both of these, then developing management plan using these principles will ensure that these conventions are recognised.

For national FMPs designed to manage fisheries for resources which, at least partially, are distributed in the high seas, or that are shared between two or more countries. Because these resources are not under the jurisdiction of a single nation the FMP, being a national instrument, will only be applicable within the EEZ of that nation. This does not mean that the FMP will be ineffective, but it does mean that the plan may have to define national objectives that are constrained by the objectives of other countries (see Code of Conduct, Paragraphs 6.12, 7.1.2 and 7.3.2). See also discussion on Scope in Step 1.2.

EAF Tool Pedigree

The examples of plans come from a number of different countries and regions.

EAF Tool Synergy

Management plan development essentially is the main outcomes of many of the other activities in the EAF planning process.

EAF Tool Usage

Easy

Cost

Low, High

The cost of the tool is minimal but depending upon the complexity of the management plan that is to be developed, the costs could become large.

EAF Tool Capacity

Moderate

The development of a formal management plan requires trained professional staff with some legal or policy training.

Background Requirements

Moderate – High

The development of an FMP requires extensive information about the fishery and the social, economic and natural environments within which the fishery operates. The gathering of information, in the form of data or expert knowledge, is the responsibility of the management.

Participation

Low - Moderate

The drafting of management plans is generally completed within the agency or a working group. Once a discussion paper or draft plan is formally released, the public and interested parties should be given a set time to make comments, for example three months. During this time it is advisable to organise meetings between the management authority and interested parties (e.g. meetings in the major fishing ports) to seek comment and promote discussion.

Time Range

Moderate – Long

The timeframe to generate a formal management plan will generally involve a minimum of 6 months and could take a number of years.

Source of Information

FAO, A fishery manager’s guidebook, Chapter 9: Design and implementation of management plans. Internet resource
Hindson et al. 2005 How to Manage a Fishery: A simple guide to writing a fisheries management plan.  Internet resource

Other Relevant References

New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries: General Internet resource
New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries: Legislation Internet resource
New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries: Fishery Plans Internet resource
New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries: Example Plan Internet resource
Australia: Australian Fisheries Management Authority Internet resource
Australia: Western Australia Department of Fisheries  Internet resource
Australia: Fisheries County of South Australia Internet resource
United States: Caribbean Fishery Management Council Internet resource
United States: New England Fishery Management Council Internet resource
United States: North Pacific Fishery Management Council Internet resource
United States: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Internet resource
Norway Internet resource

Appendix

Examples of Fishery Management Plan Templates

(exctracted from A fishery manager’s guidebook, Chapter 9. FAO Technical Paper 424)

Examples of management plans

Four examples of existing Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) are now briefly presented to help to put this in the context of current fisheries management. These examples were chosen to represent a wide spectrum of existing FMPs. The first example is for a single industrial fishery in a developed country; in contrast the second example corresponds to a mixture of industrial and artisanal fisheries in a developing country. The third example refers to a plan for a single species caught as part of a multi-species artisanal fishery. The final plan is meant to demonstrate how to plan for new developing fisheries.

6.1 The Australian Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) Management Plan

The NPF is a fishery with only one species group as target, where the only gear used is the trawl and that operates offshore of a very remote part of the world, in Northern Australia. Although the FMP was only developed in 1995, the NPF has been closely managed since the 1980s. This plan is therefore an example of an FMP for a well-managed industrial fishery. This plan was made in accordance with the Australian Fisheries Management Act of 1991. Its purpose is to make sure that the policy objectives of the Australian Fish Management Authority are met in the Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) and that bycatch in this fishery is reduced to a minimum. This is translated in the plan by specifying that the objective of the plan is “ensuring that the exploitation of fisheries resources and the carrying on of any related activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and the exercise of the precautionary principle, in particular the need to have regard to the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the long term sustainability of the marine environment; and maximising economic efficiency in the exploitation of fisheries resources” (Anon., 1995).

This plan is made under clear guidelines established in the Australian Fisheries Policy, and as a result the plan itself is limited to a description of the operational management details for the fishery and does not cover general fisheries policy.

The FMP starts with a list of legal definitions of terms that are used throughout the plan (Table 1). The next section covers the objectives, management measures and performance measures or indicators. Because the NPF is a fishery managed by input controls (see Chapter 4), including limited licenses, section two of the plan focuses on fishing rights (see Chapter 6). The section covers the types of rights that exist, how they are to be transferred and the obligations of fishing rights holders. The last section of the plan contains a detailed description of the managed area and a list of all amendments.

6.2 The Barbados fisheries management plan

The Barbados Fisheries Act (1993-96) required the Chief Fisheries Officer to develop a management plan for the fisheries of Barbados. In 1997 the Fisheries Advisory Committee, in consultation with the fishing industry and the general public, completed the FMP (Anonymous, 1997). Although the fisheries of Barbados, like those of many other developing countries, are highly diverse, the government decided to develop a single management plan for all of them. This contrasts with many other countries where fisheries management plans are developed for individual fisheries. As a result, the fisheries management plan for Barbados has much broader goals than those found in other plans. These goals appear at the beginning of the FMP document (Table 2) and include meeting human-nutrition, social and economic needs, whilst integrating fisheries policy within coastal zone management and considering traditional knowledge of fisheries and the special interests of local (coastal) communities. Other goals of the Barbados FMP are more commonly seen in other plans, such as maintaining or restoring populations to the levels that can produce maximum sustainable yields, promoting the use of selective fishing gear to minimize wastage and bycatch, researching, monitoring and controlling fishing operations and fish resources, protecting endangered species and fragile ecosystems and finally cooperating with other nations in the management of shared, straddling and migratory stocks. The plan then contains an overview of the fishing industry which, obviously, includes the whole variety of fishing practices and resources found in the country: from shallow water trapping for reef fish and lobsters to oceanic gillnets for flyingfish, handlines and longlines for coastal and oceanic pelagics and hand gathering of sea urchins.

Table 1

Outline of the Australian Northern Prawn Fishery Management Plan of 1995

Part 1 Introductory Provisions

1. Name of Plan

2. Commencement

3. Interpretation

4. Objectives

5. Measures

6. Performance criteria

Part 2 Statutory Fishing rights

7. Gear statutory fishing rights

8-13. Types of statutory fishing rights (fishing licenses)

14-17. Who may fish in the NPF area

19. Boat nomination and replacement

20-24. Cancellation of statutory fishing rights

25. Directions by AFMA (length of fishing season etc.)

26. Transfer of statutory fishing rights

27. Expiry of statutory fishing rights

Part 3 Miscellaneous

28-35. Certificates, delegation, leasing arrangements of statutory fishing rights

Schedule 1 Area of the Northern Prawn Fishery

There is then a description of the fisheries management process used to develop and implement the FMP, and the need to link the FMP to the coastal zone management plan is identified. The plan then describes the legislation that directly influences the plan, and includes a history of previous and existing bilateral fishing agreements with other nations. The next section of the plan defines the organizational framework of the fisheries sector in Barbados, including government and non-government fisheries related organizations and any fisheries programs administered by international organizations. The section ends with a description of the research, monitoring, surveillance, licensing and inspection activities conducted in Barbados.

Table 2

Outline of the Barbados Fisheries Management Plan

Guiding Principles (mission, goals, fisheries policy and country profile)

Fishing industry profile (overview of fisheries, fishing industry, intersectorial linkages)

Fisheries Management (fisheries planning process, coastal zone management, fisheries legislation, regional fishery agreements, organizational framework, research and statistics, monitoring control and surveillance, inspection, registration and licensing)

Fisheries Development (Visions from harvest, postharvest and State sectors)

Management and implementation for specific fisheries (one for each fishery)

Fishery management options

Glossary

The plan then presents an analysis of issues of importance to the harvest, postharvest and government sector. For each issue a series of optional management actions are identified and implementation strategies are proposed, including a description of resources required. An example of an important issue for the harvest sector is the lack of fisher and boat owner organizations. Possible actions to address this issue are to promote organizational development, provide incentives and training. Strategies to achieve these actions are for example to subsidise certain organizations and provide extension training in organizational development. Of course the plan notes that to carry these out, funds and trainers will be required. Although the goals of the plan are broad, an in-depth analysis of all issues allows the government to address them one by one within the priority order established by the policies of the government of Barbados and as a function of the resources available for its implementation. It is expected that as some of these issues are resolved they would disappear from future versions of the plan. Again the plan is a living document.

The final part of the FMP includes sub-plans for each of the eight major fisheries of Barbados. These sub-plans are brief, 2 to 3 pages long, and include concise descriptions of the target species, bycatch, ecology, fishery, management unit, resource status, catch and effort trends, specific management policies, objectives and approaches already in place for such fisheries and a list of development opportunities and constraints. This descriptive part is followed, as in the main part of the FMP, by a list of issues and the proposed actions identified to address them, together with the resources required. At the end the plan includes a list, with non-technical descriptions, of fishery management options used in the FMP and a glossary.

6.3 Queen Conch Fishery Management Plan for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

The Magnuson-Stevens Act of the United States of America (USA) requires that Regional Fishery Councils develop FMPs for resources within each region. The Caribbean Fishery Management Council developed a plan for the management of queen conch within the waters of the USA Caribbean in 1996 (Anon. 1996). Other similar plans are in effect for Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates, Shallow Water Reef Fish, and Spiny Lobster.

Queen conch are caught throughout the Caribbean, where they are a valuable resource for artisanal fishers. The resource seems biologically overfished in many countries, including the USA Caribbean. A fundamental problem of the management of this resource is that the stock is shared by many countries, therefore management may need to be coordinated across several countries. The Queen Conch FMP recognises that explicitly in its executive summary, highlighting the need for both local management actions and regional cooperation.

The FMP starts with a list of definitions of all technical terms used in the document and is followed by an introduction that defines the context (USA fishery legislation and Caribbean Fishery Management Council’s management program) and scope of the plan (Table 3). The next two sections are the lengthier part of the plan where all the relevant information on the biology of conch and its fishery is summarised. These sections must contain whatever information is required to show that the best information available has been used to support the management plan. They present details on the life history, population parameters, conch habitats, history of the fishery, fishing fleet, processing sector and the most current assessment of the status of the fishery at the time the plan was developed.

The next chapter of the FMP discusses the most important issues facing the fishery, including the presence of overfishing, the limits on enforcement, the legislative setting, the limitations of current databases, the dependence on communication with and education of interested parties and the importance of habitat quality.

Section five of the FMP starts presenting the management objectives:

1. “to optimise the production of queen conch...

2. to reduce adverse impacts...such as harvesting immature and reproducing individuals....

3. to promote the adoption of functional management measures that are practical and enforceable....and the promotion of international cooperation in management...

4. to generate a data base that will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of queen conch biology....

5. to recommend habitat improvements to federal and local governments...

6. to provide as much flexibility as possible with the management....”

The rest of the section defines why conch has been assessed to be overfished and presents the rebuilding plan to recover the stock. The development of the rebuilding plan is a requirement of the USA Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The plan then details the alternative management measures that are to be used to manage the stock of conch. For each alternative the expected consequences of using the measure are detailed. The alternative of not doing anything is also presented including its consequences. Among the measures included in this list are size limits, sale restrictions, bag limits, seasonal closures and gear restrictions. This section also contains information on the process by which the above measures may get changed in the future.

Table 3

Outline of the Queen Conch Fishery Management Plan for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

Executive Summary

Definitions

Introduction

Description of resource

Description of fishery

Problems in the fishery

Management objectives

Management measures and alternatives

Recommendations to local governments and other agencies

Related management jurisdictions, laws and policies

The final section of the plan includes information on all the USA federal and local (USA Caribbean) legislation and policies that impinge on the operations of the queen conch fishery. Examples of these are the Federal and Local Endangered Species Acts or the National Environmental Policy Act. For each of these policies or Acts a summary of its relevance to fishery management is provided.

6.4 Western Australia plan for developing new fisheries

Many countries still see fisheries development as one of the pillars of their fisheries policy. In developing countries, the need for creating socio-economic opportunities, generating employment and obtaining hard currency often creates even greater pressure for maintaining this “fishery development” agenda. Although FAO statistics have shown that the prospect for development of new fisheries is small (FAO, 2000), at small scales there will be an on-going need to have procedures in place that ensure the orderly development (or re-development) of new fisheries (Code of Conduct, Paragraph 7.5.4).

Several states in Australia have created management procedures specially designed for this. These procedures, whether in the form of a formal FMP (as it is often done in Queensland) or as a set of general principles, as done in Western Australia, can be a useful guide to how to proceed with developing an FMP for new fisheries in a responsible way (Halmarick, 1999).

Western Australia’s guide defines first what constitutes a new fishery:

“.. a fishery for which there is little or no exploitation, there is potential for development...”

Then it states an important principle that is:

“...there should be no assumption that the existence of a fish resource will guarantee that commercial access to this resource will be granted.”

This clearly establishes that the management authority has the responsibility to define which new resources are to be developed and which not. Whether a new fishery is developed or not should be consistent with the national fisheries policy and should specially consider the possible interaction of this development with existing fisheries.

The next section of the guide then clearly defines the constraints under which development can take place:

  • national fisheries policy;
  • principles of ecologically sustainable development;
  • precautionary principle.

Then the document sets the rights of developers, recognising that these “pioneers” should benefit from developing a new fishery. This should clearly establish what rights may be conferred to those engaging in fishing on fisheries that have not yet been brought under formal management (see Chapter 6 on user rights)

The rest of the document contains sections detailing the process for creation of a new fishery, seeking expressions of interest from prospective participants and establishing the conditions of operations (Table 4). The Western Australian FMP emphasizes that these conditions are to have a limited life of three years, after which an assessment of whether the fishery should continue will be made.

Table 4

Steps required for the development of a new fishery in Western Australia

Expression of interest - opportunity advertised

Ministerial decision - on whether to agree to the development or not

Application - people apply according to guidelines established by management agency

Assessment of applications

Notification of approval/refusal

Implementation - fishing starts

Review and assessment - permits are continued, modified or rescinded

 
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