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Get the Management Plan formalized and any new legal instruments drafted.

Overview of the activity

To implement the agreed set of management arrangements it is often necessary to have them formalised into a ‘Management Plan.’  Depending upon the jurisdiction and fishery, this Management plan may need to be a formal, legal document and in some cases requiring parliamentary approval.  At the other end of the spectrum it may be as simple as a list of allowable activities agreed to, and maintained by, the local community leadership group.

It is therefore necessary to determine what level of formalisation is required for the Management Plan to ensure that the specific arrangements are both legally and socially enforceable by the relevant authority or groups. This may involve a ‘central’ management authority, local/regional authorities or local community leaders or some combination of these. There is little chance of success if the plan is not endorsed by those who interact with, monitor and ‘police’ the people undertaking the fishing activities.

In cases where the plan requires new or modified regulations or changes to the legal framework (e.g. the Fisheries Act) the drafting process could be assisted by viewing good examples from elsewhere and having access to legal experts.  When drafted, these revisions usually involve formal approval by Parliament/Government which may require specific consultation with politicians and their advisors. Having stakeholder support for the proposed changes will clearly aid in getting Government approval.

Once a new or revised Management Plan has been formally approved it is vital that this is communicated to all the stakeholders who could be affected by any changes to their previous activities.

Relevant questions

  • How formal does the ‘management plan’ have to be to become valid for use?  Is it a act of parliament, regulations, policy document, set of recommendations
  • Which are the agencies and groups that need to approve the Management Plan to make it sufficiently binding? How binding should it be (could it be voluntary)?
  • Will the plan require amendments to any legislation or regulations? Does this involve parliament voting to support?
  • What will the timeframe be for completing all these processes? Is it compatible with the urgency of the matters?  What interim steps could be used using the current set of legislative tools. 
  • Is sufficient legal expertise available to complete drafting? If not, where could it be obtained and at what cost?

Key actions

  • Based on the agreed operational plan, develop a suitably ‘formal’ fishery Management Plan.
  • Get legal assistance as needed.
  • Have the ‘Plan’, including any required change in the legislation and regulations, supported by all relevant agencies and preferably all stakeholder groups.
  • Have the plan approved/endorsed by Government (including any required change in, or new, legislation and regulation)or other relevant authority.
  • Communicate outcomes of the approval process to stakeholders. 

Tools

There are only a few specific EAF tools available to assist with the formalisation of management plans.  Some practical assistance can also be gained from manuals that outlined how to generate good legislation, regulations and other legal documents (best practice manuals). Assistance can also be gained from best practice examples of fishery management plans in similar circumstances and even the check list of management system requirements located in various EAF Guides. Where required, obtaining legal drafting assistance from regional organisations or locally-based based experts may be possible.

A number of communication tools are available and the communication templates will be similar to those outlined previously in the process.


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

Tools and information sources

Selection criteria

Difficulty

Cost

Capacity

Know.

Participation

Time

Comprehensive EAF and related management Guides Easy L M L-M L S-M
Reports on best practice legal requirements Moderate L-M M- H M L M
Best Practice Management Plans Easy L M-H M L M
Legal Assistance Fairly Hard L- H L L L M-L
Communication Tools Easy L L M M-H M

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

 


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