Putting into practice the ecosystem approach to fisheries

Rome, © FAO 2005


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ISBN 92-5-105396-0

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Cover picture by Emanuela D'Antoni

Preparation of this document

This document is an abridged version of the FAO Fisheries Technical Guidelines No. 4, Suppl. 2, entitled Fisheries management. 2. The ecosystem approach to fisheries. It is intended to provide a more concise and less technical outline of the purpose and meaning of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) and guidance as to how to implement the approach.

The document was prepared by Claire Attwood, Kevern Cochrane and Caroline Hanks and the layout was done by JoséLuis Castilla. Valuable comments and contributions to earlier versions were made by Serge Garcia, Derek Staples and Rolf Willmann. The image on the cover was prepared by Emanuela D'Antoni from photographs by Felix Marttin and Kevern Cochrane.

The Government of Japan provided the funding for preparation and printing of this document through Project GCP/INT/920/JPN: “Capacity Building for an Ecosystem Approach: Considering Interactions, including with Marine Mammals”.


Although the principles of an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) are not new, there is very little practical experience in their implementation. Translating high-level policy goals on EAF into operational objectives and actions is now the key challenge to sustainable fisheries.

This booklet will:

-   provide an overview of EAF, for marine capture fisheries, and its benefits;

-   consider what is required to implement EAF;

-   consider the range of management measures available;

-   provide an overview of the management process;

-   outline any outstanding research requirements;

-   list the main threats to the implementation of EAF.

Putting into practice the ecosystem approach to fisheries.
Rome, FAO. 2005. 76p.

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This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software. FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.


Preparation of this document



What is EAF and what are the benefits?

What are the data and information requirements for EAF?

How to make EAF operational

EAF management measures

The need to create incentives for EAF

Assessing the costs and benefits of EAF

EAF management processes

What are the legal and institutional aspects of EAF?

Effective monitoring, control and surveillance

What are the key research requirements for EAF?

What are the threats to EAF implementation?