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Legal report on the ecosystem approach to fisheries in Sri Lanka: An analysis of the ecosystem approach to fisheries in selected national policy and legal instruments of Sri Lanka

Legislating for an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) is complex, due to the holistic nature of EAF involving multiple factors that underpin the social, economic, environmental, and institutional aspects of fisheries sustainability. These factors include ecosystems integration, risks, intersectoral collaboration, research, participatory processes, monitoring, control, surveillance, and enforcement, among others. To assess how an EAF is being implemented through national policy and legal frameworks, FAO developed a diagnostic tool for implementing an ecosystem approach to fisheries through national policy and legal frameworks.

The present legal report on the EAF used the diagnostic tool to assess the alignment of selected policy and legal instruments of Sri Lanka with an EAF. This assessment analysed the extent to which 82 EAF legal requirements, which are considered the minimum standards in legislating for an EAF, are reflected in Sri Lanka's policies and legislation relevant to the fisheries sector of the country and other relevant sectors (such as environment, wildlife, ecosystems, and maritime affairs). Based on this preliminary diagnosis, gaps were identified in the assessed instruments, and recommendations were made for improving the implementation of an EAF.

This report was elaborated following a participatory approach with the involvement of the national competent authorities of Sri Lanka. Drafted in July 2021, the report was submitted to the national authorities of Sri Lanka in October 2021, and revised in October 2022. The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) endorsed this EAF Legal Report in January 2023.

Nakamura, J.N.; Amador, T.
Asia & Pacific