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Agree on the scope of the fishery and what community and environmental outcomes are to be achieved

Overview of the activity

To complete EAF planning you need to have a clear and agreed definition of ‘the fishery’.  The scope of a ‘fishery’ will usually be defined by some combination of the type of enterprise (e.g. artisanal, industrial); gear used (e.g. beach seine, trawl); target species (e.g. tuna, shrimp), the people involved and purpose of catch (e.g. subsistence, commercial), and the geographical area where it operates (e.g. a single bay, high seas). This removes all uncertainty about what will and what won’t be covered by the plan.

If a ‘Management Plan’ already exists, most of the characteristics will be documented, but they should be reviewed and circulated to stakeholders. If not, the relevant questions (outlined below) and checklists can be used, preferably in a scoping meeting, to generate an agreed scope. It is preferable if the activities and areas to be managed are all directly covered by the legislative jurisdiction of the management agency(s).

EAF planning also requires getting agreement on what management objectives you want the fishery to achieve. These should directly reflect relevant community and national values, signed international conventions and can include: food and livelihood security; resource sustainability; economic performance; social amenity; cultural values (including protection of ‘iconic’ species). The specific values relevant to each fishery, and their order of importance, will vary among countries and even between fisheries within a single country.

It is important to get agreement, or at least clarity, about what  high level fishery objectives and their relative priority will be used in the remainder of the EAF planning process. Therelevant questions and check lists provided below should assist with this.

Relevant questions

Fishery Scope

  • Is this a sector based, species based, method based, or area based management plan?
  • Which sectors or types of fishers will be included in the plan (e.g.  commercial; subsistence; artisanal, sport, charter, distant water nations)?
  • What are the main species caught (e.g. shrimp, sardines, demersal fish etc)
  • What fishing methods are involved – just one (e.g. netting) or all relevant methods for the species (shrimp trawling, beach seining etc.)?
  • What is the geographic area it will cover (e.g. the entire EEZ, coastal waters only, a length of coast, a sub-region etc.)?
  • What government agencies and other groups are directly involved in the management of the fishery (e.g. the national fisheries agency, research institutes, police, local government, fishing associations etc.)?
  • What government and other agencies or groups are indirectly involved (e.g. environmental agencies, finance, NGOs, Regional Fisheries Management Organization)?
  • What level of jurisdiction or control does each of these agencies have over the area, species, activities involved? (e.g. are there gaps or overlaps in who has legislative,  policy and compliance authority?)

Fishery Values

  • What are the key community values that the fishery should be assisting (e.g. food security, economic development, ecosystem integrity etc..)?
  • What is the relative order of priority among these values and is there general agreement or strong divergence about this order among different groups?
  • Are there any specific government policies that must be considered? 
  • Are there certain species, areas or features that have special local/national/regional significance that must be treated in a special manner?
  • Are there any relevant international and national legal agreements that could affect management objectives?

Key actions

  • Identify and agree on which fishing activities, sectors, communities, target and non-target species, ecosystems, geographic regions are to be covered by the EAF Management Plan?
  • Identify any other key activities, stakeholder groups, government agencies, etc.  that need to be included in the planning process (directly or indirectly) to enable its effective and successful implementation.
  • Clarify who has legislative &/or policy control for the activities, areas and people to be covered in the management plan.
  • Generate an agreed set of key values and outcomes the community and government want the fishery management plan to generate or maintain.
  • Identify possible conflicts among objectives and determine what hierarchy or precedence will be used.
  • Use the agreed key values and outcomes to generate the set of high level fisheries management objectives that will be used as the basis of the EAF planning process. 

Tools

In addition to the relevant questions outlined above, there are  number of technical manuals on EAF that offer check list guides that can assist management planners in identifying or clarifying the scope for the fishery/sector concerned. Stakeholder engagement and agreement can be sought at a scoping meeting using a professional facilitator or one of the members of the project team who is trained for the purpose. Given the importance of gaining agreement on the scope and values, having good facilitation at the stakeholder meeting will be vital to the overall success of the entire planning process.
 
A variety of consultation and community engagement tools can assist generate effective input from the community at ‘scoping’ or stakeholder meeting to try and get agreement (or at least their input) on what objectives the fishery should be trying to achieve, which should  increase the chances that they will accept the planning outcomes. This includes Brainstorming, Participatory Community Rapid Assessment (PCRA) and Visioning exercises to determine the breadth of values and to gain agreement on the relevant values for the fishery, but particularly their order of priority, one of the various consensus building tools can be used.

The selection criteria for these tools are given in the table below.

Tools and information sources

Selection criteria

Difficulty

Cost

Capacity

Know.

Participation

Time

Fishery scope check lists guides Easy L L L L-H S
Brainstorming Easy L-M M L M-H S-M
PCRA Moderate M M M M M
Visioning Exercises Moderate L L-M L M-H S-M

L=Low or Long; H= High; M= Medium, S=Short

 


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