Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger
Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Activity 4.3 – Review performance of the Management system
Overview of the activity
EAF is an adaptive management system that requires regularly checking of whether the plan is delivering acceptable outcomes for all the objectives of the fishery. Where performance is not acceptable, changes to the management measures are required. At longer time intervals the entire management system, including what objectives the plan is targeting, should also be reviewed.
Monitoring the outcomes of a management system based on the identified indicators is an ongoing activity so that performance against each of the operational objectives can be assessed at appropriate time intervals. For most commercial fisheries some level of annual review (often in connection with quota/effort allocations) is undertaken with more frequent reviews needed where real-time management or high risk issues are involved. In some situations (e.g. small-scale fisheries, stock assessment of long lived species) a lower frequency may be adequate (e.g. every 2-5 years). These reviews can either be internal (most of the time) or external (from time to time).
The reviews should assess if the management arrangements are delivering the desired outcomes and, where this is not happening, identify the likely reasons for failure and, where possible, suggest corrective actions. If these adjustments are allowed for within the scope of the plan (e.g. adjusting TACC, effort values etc.) the change may be negotiated each time or predefined by a control rule within a formal harvest strategy. Where changes require the formal Management Plan to be amended (e.g. prohibit a certain gear) a longer process involving some of the activities from Step 3.3 will be needed.
After the management plan has been in operation for some time (e.g. 5 to 10 years) a strategic review of the entire management system may be required. This essentially requires going back to Step 1 of the EAF planning process to ensure the basis of the fishery management plan in relation to high level objectives, societal values are all still relevant.
This activity does not require too many additional specific tools because it is essentially using the outputs of tools either adopted for monitoring and assessment (Step 3.2) or those for management option evaluation (Step 3.3) and the implementation of the operational plan (Step 4.1).
The most relevant tools are if the performance monitoring system needs to be refined and if harvest strategy and control rules are now to be used a formal mechanism to link the indicator and performance measures with changes in the management arrangements. This would include pre-agreed courses of action (such as increases or decreases in catch or effort quotas etc) based on the indicator reaching certain levels in relation to the performance measures. In general, the less accurate the indicator, the less likely it is that precise preset harvest strategies can be used.
Where additional actions outside the scope of what is allowed in the current management plan are required this will generally require going back to one of the previous steps and the tools relevant to these steps.
L= Low or Long; H= High; M= Medium, S=Short