68. The Symposium considered biological, environmental, social and economic impacts of fisheries management of lakes and rivers. Fisheries management has produced clear benefits to the ecosystem and to stakeholders over and above benefits to the fishery itself. However, such activities as stocking and introduction can produce negative impacts, but this is not always the case.
69. The Symposium highlighted that traditional fisheries management is not always implemented successfully in European inland fisheries. At the same time, the trend away from traditional management of fisheries resources towards integrated management of the ecosystem emphasizes the need to develop new participatory approaches.
70. Many of the issues and approaches highlighted have fundamental implications to the EU Water Framework Directive because of the need to improve the status of fresh waters in the future. The implications of global environmental change should be recognized and given due consideration in future management approaches.
The unwillingness of elements of the public to respect fisheries regulations was noted. It was therefore recommended that improved communication and education programmes on protection and conservation be developed for inland waters.
There is a general need for guidelines that are readily understandable to stakeholders as well as to fisheries administrators. It was recommended that new guidelines be developed for biomanipulation and that existing guidelines for stocking and introductions be updated and incorporated into national and local level policy. In certain species, such as the sturgeons, it was recommended that improved protocols for stocking be developed and implemented.
It was recommended that all stakeholders be included in the consultative and decision-making processes for management and conservation of inland fisheries resources. Ideally this should develop into a full participatory management process.
When contemplating restoration works or enhancement activities it was recommended that the catchment basin be fully evaluated to see what other factors may affect the project and what problems may still persist.
It was recommended that opportunities for artificial fisheries as well as restoration and enhancement of existing fisheries be identified. Often these fisheries can furnish more cost effective alternatives to traditional fisheries.
It was recommended that goals for restoration projects should be fully evaluated and realistic targets set that project managers and the public find acceptable. It is further recommended that post project monitoring of rehabilitation projects is a component of the evaluation procedures and the effectiveness thereof, and the results should receive wide dissemination.
It was recommended that a risk assessment based approach be adopted for all fisheries management activities. The strength of legislation and regulation should relate to the potential risk of the management interventions.
It was recommended that mechanisms be established for the common management of international water bodies where these do not already exist; where international mechanisms already exist, these need to be reinforced in order to concentrate better on fisheries and environmental issues.
It was recommended that mechanisms be developed for the in vivo conservation of endangered fish species; sturgeons are priority.