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How to make EAF operational

In order to implement EAF successfully, it is necessary to translate the relevant policy goals into operational objectives and actions. The main steps in the process of implementation are as follows:

Where serious or irreversible damage is likely, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

These steps will vary from fishery to fishery, and may differ between developed and developing countries. What is important, however, is that no significant economic, social or environmental aspect is overlooked, otherwise management plans that are good in all other respects are still likely to fail.

Moving from high level policy goals to operational objectives is a huge challenge in areas where the goals deal with broad and sometime vague concepts such as ecosystem integrity, health and biodiversity. Steps 3 and 4 in the Appendix are intended to help address that challenge. The above process needs to apply to fisheries which have excellent data and capacity, as well as to data-poor fisheries with little to no management and scientific capacity. Given that uncertainty is likely to be much greater than under the target resource orientated or single-species approach (TROM), the precautionary approach will be of significance.

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