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Biological diversity or biodiversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Diversity indices are measures of richness (the number of species in a system); and to some extent, evenness (variances of species' local abundance). They are therefore indifferent to species substitutions which may, however, reflect ecosystem stresses (such as those due to high fishing intensity).

Biological resources include genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use of value for humanity.

Discards are those components of a fish stock (see below) thrown back after capture. Normally, most of the discards can be assumed not to survive.

Exploitation rate, applied on a fish stock, is the proportion of the numbers or biomass removed by fishing. If the biomass is 1000 tons and the harvest during a year is 200 tons, the annual exploitation rate is 20%. See also fishing mortality.

Fisheries management authority is the legal entity which has been assigned by a State or States with a mandate to perform certain specified fisheries management functions.

Fisheries management organizations or arrangements are international institutions or treaty arrangements between two or more States that are responsible for fisheries management, including the formulation of the rules that govern fishing activities. The fishery management organization, and its subsidiary bodies, may also be responsible for all ancillary services, such as the collection of information, its analysis, stock assessment, monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS), consultation with interested parties, application and/or determination of the rules of access to the fishery, and resource allocation.

Fishery can refer to the sum of all fishing activities on a given resource, for example a hake fishery or shrimp fishery. It may also refer to the activities of a single type or style of fishing on a particular resource, for example a beach seine fishery or trawl fishery. The term is used in both senses in this document and, where necessary, its particular application is specified.

Fishing capacity is a concept which has not yet been rigorously defined, and there are substantial differences of opinion as to how it should be defined and estimated. However, a working definition is the quantity of fish that can be taken by a fishing unit, for example an individual, community, vessel or fleet, assuming that there is no limitation on the yield from the stock.

Fishing effort represents the amount of fishing gear of a specific type used on the fishing grounds over a given unit of time e.g. hours trawled per day, number of hooks set per day or number of hauls of a beach seine per day.

Fishing mortality is a technical term which refers to the proportion of the fish available being removed by fishing in a small unit of time. Fishing mortality can be translated into a yearly exploitation rate (see above) expressed as a percentage, using a mathematical formula.

Fish stock or fish resource means the living resources in the community or population from which catches are taken in a fishery. Use of the term fish stock usually implies that the particular population is more or less isolated from other stocks of the same species and hence self-sustaining. In a particular fishery, the fish stock may be one or several species of fish but here it is also intended to include commercial invertebrates and plants.

Fleet is used broadly in this document to describe the total number of units of any discrete type of fishing activity utilising a specific resource. For simplicity, it is used here to include shore-based activities. Hence, for example, a fleet may be all the purse seine vessels in a specific sardine fishery, or all the fishers setting nets from the shore in a tropical multispecies fishery.

Interested party or Interest group refers to any person or group recognized by the State or States as having a legitimate interest in the conservation and management of the resources being managed. This term is more encompassing than the term stakeholder. Generally speaking, the categories of interested parties will often be the same for many fisheries and could include contrasting interests: commercial/recreational, conservation/exploitation, artisanal/industrial, fisher/buyer-processor-trader as well as governments (local/State/national). The general public and the consumers could also be considered as interested parties in some circumstances.

Management objective is a target that is actively sought and provides a direction for management action. For example, achieving a reasonable income for individual fishers is one possible economic objective of fisheries management.

Recruits to a stock are the new age group of the population entering the exploited component of the stock for the first time or young fish growing into or otherwise entering that exploitable component.

Reference point is an estimated value derived from an agreed scientific procedure and/or an agreed model which corresponds to a state of the resource and/or of the fishery and can be used as a guide for fisheries management. Some reference points are general and applicable to many fish stocks, others should be stock-specific. A distinction should be made between target reference points and limit reference points, or thresholds, the latter representing low states of the stock to be avoided.

Species assemblage is the term used to describe the collection of species making up any co-occurring community of organisms in a given habitat or fishing ground.

Sustainable use means the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity or of any of its components, thereby maintaining their potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.

Table 1. Desirable data and information requirements for fisheries at the level of policy making, according to nature and use of the data

Data type

Related to the resource

Fishery characteristics

Social and economic information

Monitoring, control and surveillance

Summary of recent landings by fishery
Summary of potential yields by fishery, with options of possible alternative approaches
Probable inter-annual variability in yield and any likely long-term trends in resource productivity
Details on environmental constraints and sensitive habitats
Details on the implications of any international agreements which affect the fisheries

Summary of types of fishery and fleet and gear characteristics for each fleet
Number of fishing units for each fleet, at present
Extent and importance of recreational fisheries, where applicable
Key fishing grounds and their characteristics
Summary of number and distribution of landing sites
The impact of fishing gear and practices on the environment and on the ecosystem
Details of the costs of fishery management

Summary of existing user rights systems of each fishery and fleet
Major interest groups and their 'stakes', including gender and age sub-divisions within each interest group and likely policy implications
Any trends influencing or likely to influence fisheries, e.g. demographic changes, political changes, migrations, etc.
Employment characteristics by fishery and fleet and possible alternative sources of employment

Summary of successes or problems in monitoring and control by fishery and fleet
Financial and institutional implications of different policy options for monitoring and control
Details of existing arrangements and potential for partnerships or co- management with user or interest groups

Contributions to national or local economy by fishery and fleet
Existing or likely develop- mental activities and their implications for fisheries
Details of any subsidies being paid to fishers and estimated costs of reducing over- capacity
Characteristics of and trends in markets
Implications of State macro- economic policies which could influence fisheries
Details on any existing international agreements on trade, cooperation, etc., which affect fisheries

Existing institutional structures related to the fishery, including traditional institutions
Details on any existing or possible conflicts between fisheries or fleets, including the causes

Table 2. Desirable data and information requirements for fisheries for the formulation of management plans, according to nature and use of the data. The information required for determination of the overall fisheries policy is also relevant to the formulation of management plans

* = Desirable but lower priority

Data type

Related to the resource

Fishery characteristics

Social and economic information

Monitoring, control and surveillance

Historical and current catch data (in weight or numbers), including directed and by-catch and discards, for fishery and fleets
Size and/or length composition of catch per fleet
Sex and maturity composition of catch per fleet(*)
Age composition of catch per fleet(*)
Time, date and locality of all catches(*)
Fishery independent biomass estimates

Gear used by different fleets and knowledge of its selectivity
Number of fishing units (e.g. vessels and fishers) in each fleet
Numbers and localities of landing sites and fishing units operating from or landing at each site
Total effort for each fleet
Relative fishing power of different fishing units
Area fished by each fishing unit

Description of the types of production units in the fishery and the number of each type of production unit per fleet
Details of user or access rights systems related to the fishery
Total number of fishers employed in all fisheries- related activities, with details on gender and age- group characteristics

Existing monitoring and control systems for the fishery and fleets within it
Known strengths and weaknesses of existing systems
Implications (personnel, costs, benefits, etc.) of range of approaches for monitoring and control
Potential for greater user participation

Results of stock assessments indicating potential yields and resource status under different harvesting strategies
Annual estimates of number of recruits entering fishery(*)
Stomach contents data for knowledge of trophic relations
Data on mass of species consumed per predator type and feeding preferences of predators(*)

Detailed characteristics on equipment per vessel which could influence efficiency (e.g. GPS, echo-sounder, etc.)(*)
Mass of catch by commercial size category(*)
Implications for each fleet for range of management approaches
Comprehensive data, per catch, on effort used, exact position, depth fished and other data relevant to characteristics of the catch for each fleet(*)

Existence of, and possible solutions to, any conflicts between fisheries or fleets
Total landed value of the catch for each fleet and any other benefits
Details on processing of catch and on markets, as well as benefits derived from these activities
Existing or potential systems (institutions) and their potential roles in shared responsibility or co- management

Existing legislation and regulations
Additional legislation and regulations, or modifications, required for range of management approaches

Time series of indices of environmental characteristics (e.g. sea surface temperature)(*)

Details on full costs of fishing by fleet and processing, marketing and distribution costs
Specific international trade or cooperation agreements relevant to fisheries
Details on socio-economic characteristics of national or local non-fishing activities which do or may impinge on the fisheries
Procedures for consultation and joint decision-making

Table 3. Desirable data and information requirements for fisheries for implementation of the management plan, according to nature and use of the data. The data and information required for the formulation of the management plan are also relevant to the implementation of the management plan

Data type

Related to the resource

Fishery characteristics

Social and economic information

Monitoring, control and surveillance

Most recent data on indices used in management procedure (e.g. commercial CPUE, estimated biomass, etc.)
Information on biological or environmental features which could affect interpretation of indices
Information on any unexpected event related to the stock (e.g. unusual recruitment, natural mortality, environmental conditions) which could warrant departure from management procedures

Total catch and effort data for the fishery or, if heterogenous, per fleet
Unusual features of fishery or fleet behaviour which could influence interpretation of stock indices used in the management procedur
Changes in fishery or fleet composition which could impact on management procedures

Unexpected social changes which could require departure from management procedure, e.g. movements, changes in patterns of access
Unexpected economic changes, e.g. in markets, returns or costs which could seriously impact the management plan
Social and economic performance of fisheries and fleets in relation to objectives of management plan

Name of each fisher or licensed fishing unit (e.g. vessel)
Address or port of registry of each vessel or fishing unit
Name and address of owner of each fishing vessel or unit
Information from each fishing unit necessary for enforcing management measures (e.g. catch, effort deployed, catch position, etc.)

Status of the stock in relation to trends anti- cipated in the management plan

Details on the nature and causes of any serious conflicts within the fishery

In the case of vessels:

(1) date and place built
(2) type of vessel
(3) length of vessel
(4) vessel markings
(5) type of gear
(6) international radio call sign
Incidence and causes of any serious and ongoing violations of the management plan

Table 4. Outline of possible topics in a fishery management plan

- Title
- Area of operation of the fishery and under which jurisdiction it falls
- History of fishing and management
- Particulars of the recognized groups with interests in the fishery (interest groups)
- Details of consultations leading to formulation of the management plan
- Arrangements for on-going consultations with interest groups
- Details of decision-making process or processes, including the recognized participants
- Objectives for the fishery:

- Outline of the fishery resources including particulars of life histories as appropriate

- Outline of fleet types or fishing categories participating in the fishery

- Outline of status of the stocks as indicated by stock assessments, including a description of the assessment methods, standards, and stock indicators, biological limits, etc.

- Description of the aquatic ecosystem, its status and any particularly sensitive areas or features influencing or affected by the fishery (Section 1.3.2)

- Details of non-fishery users or activities which could impact on the fishery, and arrangements for liaison and co-ordination.

This may be particularly important in inland and coastal fisheries.

- Details of those individuals or groups granted rights of access to the fishery, and particulars of the nature of those rights (Sections 3.2 and 3.3)

- Description of the measures agreed upon for the regulation of fishing in order to meet the objectives within a specified time-frame (Section 3.1). These may include general and specific measures, precautionary measures, contingency plans, mechanisms for emergency decisions, etc.

- Specific constraints, e.g. details of any undesirable by catch species, their conservation status and measures taken to reduce this as appropriate

- Details of any critical environments or sources of concern and actions required to address them

- Particulars of arrangements and responsibilities for monitoring, control and surveillance and enforcement

- Details of any planned education and training for interest groups

- Date and nature of next review and audit of the management plan

Some of the above may be of a generic nature and hence be dealt with in the general rules of fishing (e.g. a national fishery legislation), in which case these can be referred to in the plan, without repeating all the details. However, specific points or detail may be required for specific fisheries.

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