EAF deals with all the impacts of a fishing sector in relation to its contribution to meeting ‘regional’ societal values and objectives
Implementing EAF essentially involves asking four questions about how a fishery is contributing to sustainable development:
- What impacts are the fishing activities having on target and associated species plus the broader ecosystem?
- What impacts are these fishing activities having on the resources or human activities managed by other sectors?
- What are the economic/social benefits and costs of fishing and related activities to the sector and society as a whole?
- What other activities and drivers beyond the control of fishery management are affecting the fishery’s capacity to reach its management objectives?
The answers to these questions can vary greatly depending upon local societal values, livelihoods, ecosystem types.
What may be acceptable in one region may not be in another, because not all communities want the same outcomes from their fisheries.
Like all management frameworks, EAF is a people based process informed by information.
All management decisions are risk based, even if this is not explicit. The EAF process helps to determine what (if any) management actions are appropriate for each issue given the current level of risk, available knowledge (including stakeholder input) and the resources available.
EAF promotes the development of governance systems that match the complexity of the fishery and are aligned with the management agencies responsibility and capacity to control. EAF must be seen as an extension of conventional fisheries management not as a parallel process. It is really just a different way of implementing management that involves a broader set of objectives and a more participative and adaptive process.
What are the main EAF management planning steps
What is EAF