Precautionary approach to fisheries
Part 2: Scientific papers


Prepared for the
Technical Consultation on the Precautionary Approach
to Capture Fisheries (Including Species Introductions)
Lysekil, Sweden, 6–13 June 1995

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ISBN 92-5-103843-0

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 1996© FAO


This document contains the invited scientific papers prepared as background material for the Technical Consultation on the Precautionary Approach to Capture Fisheries (Including Species Introductions) organized by the Government of Sweden in cooperation with FAO in the Fisheries Laboratory of Lysekil (Sweden, 6–13 June 1995) with the participation of the following experts:

Devin Bartley, Åsmund Bjordal, John F. Caddy, Kee-Chai Chong, Engel J. De Boer, William De la Mare, Chris Francis, Serge Garcia, Henrik Gislasson, Olle Hagström, Ray Hilborn, Mikael Hildén, Daniel Huppert, Eskild Kirkegaard, Geoffrey Kirkwood, Christian Lévêque, Armin Lindquist, Jordi Lleonart, Alec MacCall, Jean-Jacques Maguire, Robin Mahon, Dan Minchin, Randall Peterman, John Pope, Andrew Rosenberg, Keith Sainsbury, Juan Carlos Seijo, Fred Serchuk, Ross Shotton, Michael Sissenwine, Tony Smith, Ziro Suzuki, Jan Thulin, Per Wramner.

Cover page: the logo of the Institute of Marine Research, Lysekil:

Bronze-age rock carving from the parish of Kville, Bohuslän, Sweden. From thousands of rock-carvings in western Sweden this is the only known scene showing fishing. Originally described by Åke Fredsjö, 1943: En fiskescen på en bohuslänsk hällristning-Göteborgs och Bohusläns Fornminnesförenings tidskrift 1943: 61–71. Later documentation by the same author in: Hällristningar i Kville härad i Bohuslän. Kville socken. Del 1 och 2. - Studier i nordisk arkeologi 14/15, Göteborg 1981, 303 pp., Pl. 158 II. Published by Fornminnesföreningen i Göteborg.

Precautionary approach to fisheries. Part 2: scientific papers. Prepared for the Technical Consultation on the Precautionary Approach to Capture Fisheries (Including Species Introductions). Lysekil, Sweden, 6–13 June 1995. (A scientific meeting organized by the Government of Sweden in cooperation with FAO).
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 350, Part 2. Rome, FAO. 1996. 210p.
The document has been prepared to be used as a background document to the FAO Guidelines on the Precautionary Approach to Fisheries and Species Introduction (FAO, 1995). It contains a series of scientific papers prepared to provide a comprehensive review and analytical background for the drafting of guidelines on the precautionary approch to fisheries by the Technical Consultation on the Precautionary Approach to Capture Fisheries (Including Species Introductions) organized in Lysekil, Sweden, 6–13 June 1995 by the Government of Sweden in cooperation with FAO. It provides a comprehensive review of the concept of precaution in all aspects of fisheries and of its implications for fishery research, technology development and transfer, as well as for conservation and management. It also provides with a series of topical papers on: (a) the development of scientific advice with incomplete information; (b) risk assessment, economics and precautionary fishery management; (c) precautionary management reference points and management strategies; (d) the assessment of the precautionary nature of fishery management strategies; (e) the precautionary approach to species introduction; and (f) the precautionary aspects of fishery technology development.


All FAO Members and Associate Members
Institute of Marine Research, Lysekil, Sweden
Other interested Nations and International Organizations
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Fishery Officers in FAO Regional Offices
Non-governmental Organizations

Hyperlinks to non-FAO Internet sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. The sole purpose of links to non-FAO sites is to indicate further information available on related topics.


The Precautionary Approach to Fisheries and its Implications for Fishery Research, Technology and Management: An Updated Review
by S.M. Garcia
1. Objectives of the Precautionary Approach
2. Definitions
3. Trends and Perspectives
4. Uncertainty, Error and Risk
5. Implications for Fisheries Research
6. Implications for Technology Development and Transfer
7. Implications for Conservation and Management
The Development of Scientific Advice with Incomplete Information in the Context of the Precautionary Approach
by R.M. Hilborn and R.M. Peterman
1. Sources of Uncertainty
2. Contribution of Uncertainty to Undesirable Outcomes (Management Failure)
3. How to Reduce Uncertainty
4. Incorporating Uncertainty into Management Advice
5. Building Confidence in the Analysis
6. Communicating Information about Uncertainties
7. Situations with few Data
8. Risk Analysis
9. New Types of Responsibilities and Regulations to Deal with Uncertainties
Risk Assessment, Economics, and Precautionary
Fishery Management by D.D. Huppert
1. Source and Nature of Risk
2. Nature of Risk
3. Technical and Perceived Risks
4. Technical Risk Assessment and Risk Management
5. A Framework for Technical Risk Assessment
6. An Example with Three Possible “States of the World”
7. Quantitative Research to Implement the Decision Model
8. Fishery Management Decision Making Models
9. Irreversibilities, Extinction and Economics of Caution
10. Economic Risks and Precautionary Fishing
11. Are Decisions Adequately Cautious?
Precautionary Management Reference Points and Management Strategies
by A.A. Rosenberg and V.R. Restrepo
1. Limit Reference Points
2. Expressing the Limit as Mortality Rate of Biomass
3. The Role of Uncertainty
Assessing the Precautionary Nature of Fishery Management Strategies
by G.P. Kirkwood and A.D.M. Smith
1. Criteria for Assessing the Degree of Precaution
2. Management Strategies
3. Evaluating Management Strategies
4. Examples
Precautionary Approach to the Introduction and Transfer of Aquantic Species
by D.M. Bertley and D. Minchin
1. Uncertainty
2. Precautionary Approach
3. Intentional Introduction
4. Inadvertent Introductions
Technology and Fisheries Legislation
by J. Fitzpatrick
1. The Regulation of Fishery Technology
2. Application of the Precautionary Approach
Note on some Legal Aspects of the Precautionary Approach to Fishery Technology: Impact Assessment, Pilot Projects and Technology Classifications
by M. Boutet
1. Impact Assessment
2. Pilot Projects
3. Classification of Fishery Techniques