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Fisheries Management

Last updated: 4/1/10

This literature review includes resources which discuss commercial fisheries management, catch shares, and individual transferable quotas (ITQs).  It was compiled at the request of Linda Barker. Abstracts are included when available.


Abbott, J. K. and J. E. Wilen. 2009. Regulation of fisheries bycatch with common-pool output quotas. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 57(2): 195-204.

Many fisheries around the world are plagued with the problem of bycatch—the inadvertent harvesting and discard of non-targeted species. Bycatch occurs when targeted and non-targeted species coincide in the same habitat and gear is imperfectly selective. One of the prevailing methods of controlling bycatch is the common-pool quota system. Under this system, biologists set total allowable catches (TACs) for both the targeted and non-targeted species, and the fishing season is closed when one of these TACs binds. We develop a predictive model of a renewable resource that is regulated with this kind of common-pool quota system. The model demonstrates that the equilibrium will generally be characterized by excessive discards, shortened seasons, and foregone target species harvest. These results occur even with very efficient (low bycatch) fishing gear. We examine the sensitivity of our predictions to changes in technological parameters and degrees of spatial correlation of target and non-target species. Finally, we derive the optimal bycatch penalty function and describe its significance in light of various policy options available to regulators.

Alexander, K. E., et al. 2009. Gulf of Maine cod in 1861: historical analysis of fishery logbooks, with ecosystem implications. Fish and Fisheries 10(4): 428-449.

Since 2000, virtually every major assessment of ocean policy has called for implementing an ecosystem approach to managing marine resources, yet crafting such an approach has proved difficult. Ecosystems today exhibit little of the abundance and complexity found in the past, and populations of over-fished species have declined dramatically world-wide, yet historical evidence has been difficult to assimilate into complex ecosystem models. Here, we look to the testimony of Gulf of Maine fishermen for insights on the abundance of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and the environment that once supported such large numbers of them. Using logbook data from Frenchman's Bay, Maine, and other New England communities at the time of the Civil War, we estimate cod landings in the Gulf of Maine in 1861, establish a population structure for cod at that time, and map the geographical distribution of fishing effort of a fleet that minimized risk and cut expenses by fishing inshore where cod and bait species were plentiful. Log entries list the pelagic and bottom-dwelling invertebrate species these fishermen used for bait, when and how they acquired it, and what species they looked for in the water to signify the presence of cod. Ranked descriptions of both cod and bait abundance were found to be statistically significant indicators of cod catch. Frenchman's Bay fishermen 140 years ago provided a minimum set of ecosystem requirements for abundant cod, conditions that may inform management plans aimed at restoring both the species and the Gulf of Maine marine ecosystem.

Andersen, T., et al. 2009. Ecological thresholds and regime shifts: approaches to identification. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24(1): 49-57.

There is an apparent gap between the prominence of present theoretical frameworks involving ecological thresholds and regime shifts, and the paucity of efforts to conduct simple tests and quantitative inferences on the actual appearance of such phenomena in ecological data. A wide range of statistical methods and analytical techniques are now available that render these questions tractable, some of them even dating back half a century. Yet, their application has been sparse and confined within a narrow subset of cases of ecological regime shifts. Our objective is to raise awareness on the range of techniques available, and to their principles and limitations, to promote a more operational approach to the identification of ecological thresholds and regime shifts.
 

Armitage, D. R., et al. 2009. Adaptive co-management for social-ecological complexity. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 7(2): 95-102.

Building trust through collaboration, institutional development, and social learning enhances efforts to foster ecosystem management and resolve multi-scale society–environment dilemmas. One emerging approach aimed at addressing these dilemmas is adaptive co-management. This method draws explicit attention to the learning (experiential and experimental) and collaboration (vertical and horizontal) functions necessary to improve our understanding of, and ability to respond to, complex social–ecological systems. Here, we identify and outline the core features of adaptive co-management, which include innovative institutional arrangements and incentives across spatiotemporal scales and levels, learning through complexity and change, monitoring and assessment of interventions, the role of power, and opportunities to link science with policy.

Benn, S., D. Dunphy, and A. Martin. 2009. Governance of environmental risk: New approaches to managing stakeholder involvement. Journal of Environmental Management 90(4): 1567-1575.

Disputes concerning industrial legacies such as the disposal of toxic wastes illustrate changing pressures on corporations and governments. Business and governments are now confronted with managing the expectations of a society increasingly aware of the social and environmental impacts and risks associated with economic development and demanding more equitable distribution and democratic management of such risks. The closed managerialist decision-making of the powerful bureaucracies and corporations of the industrial era is informed by traditional management theory which cannot provide a framework for the adequate governance of these risks. Recent socio-political theories have conceptualised some key themes that must be addressed in a more fitting approach to governance. We identify more recent management and governance theory which addresses these themes and develop a process-based approach to governance of environmental disputes that allows for the evolving nature of stakeholder relations in a highly complex multiple stakeholder arena.

Berkes, F. 2009. Evolution of co-management: Role of knowledge generation, bridging organizations and social learning. Journal of Environmental Management 90(5): 1692-1702.

Over a period of some 20 years, different aspects of co-management (the sharing of power and responsibility between the government and local resource users) have come to the forefront. The paper focuses on a selection of these: knowledge generation, bridging organizations, social learning, and the emergence of adaptive co-management. Co-management can be considered a knowledge partnership. Different levels of organization, from local to international, have comparative advantages in the generation and mobilization of knowledge acquired at different scales. Bridging organizations provide a forum for the interaction of these different kinds of knowledge, and the coordination of other tasks that enable co-operation: accessing resources, bringing together different actors, building trust, resolving conflict, and networking. Social learning is one of these tasks, essential both for the co-operation of partners and an outcome of the co-operation of partners. It occurs most efficiently through joint problem solving and reflection within learning networks. Through successive rounds of learning and problem solving, learning networks can incorporate new knowledge to deal with problems at increasingly larger scales, with the result that maturing co-management arrangements become adaptive co-management in time.

Biggs, R., S. R. Carpenter, and W. A. Brock. 2009. Turning back from the brink: Detecting an impending regime shift in time to avert it. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(3): 826-831.

Ecological regime shifts are large, abrupt, long-lasting changes in ecosystems that often have considerable impacts on human economies and societies. Avoiding unintentional regime shifts is widely regarded as desirable, but prediction of ecological regime shifts is notoriously difficult. Recent research indicates that changes in ecological time series (e.g., increased variability and autocorrelation) could potentially serve as early warning indicators of impending shifts. A critical question, however, is whether such indicators provide sufficient warning to adapt management to avert regime shifts. We examine this question using a fisheries model, with regime shifts driven by angling (amenable to rapid reduction) or shoreline development (only gradual restoration is possible). The model represents key features of a broad class of ecological regime shifts. We find that if drivers can only be manipulated gradually management action is needed substantially before a regime shift to avert it; if drivers can be rapidly altered aversive action may be delayed until a shift is underway. Large increases in the indicators only occur once a regime shift is initiated, often too late for management to avert a shift. To improve usefulness in averting regime shifts, we suggest that research focus on defining critical indicator levels rather than detecting change in the indicators. Ideally, critical indicator levels should be related to switches in ecosystem attractors; we present a new spectral density ratio indicator to this end. Averting ecological regime shifts is also dependent on developing policy processes that enable society to respond more rapidly to information about impending regime shifts.

Bochenek, E. A. and E. N. Powell. Evaluating Catch, Effort, and Bag Limits on Summer Flounder Directed Trips in the Recreational Party Boat Fishery. Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University and John DePersenaire Recreational Fishing Alliance. Available online at http://www.fisheries.org/units/mid-atlantic/8_Bochenek_Eleanor.pdf

Branch, T.A. 2009. How do individual transferable quotas affect marine ecosystems? Fish and Fisheries 10: 39-57.

Published papers were reviewed to assess ecosystem impacts of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) and other dedicated access systems. Under ITQs, quota shares increase with higher abundance levels, thus fishers may request lower total allowable catches (TACs) and pay for monitoring and research that improves fishery sustainability. Mortality on target species generally declines because catches are closer to TACs and because ghost fishing through lost and abandoned gear decreases. High-grading and discarding often decline, but may increase if landings (and not catches) count against ITQs and when there is little at-sea enforcement. Overall, ITQs positively impact target species, although collapses can occur if TACs are set too high or if catches are routinely allowed to exceed TACs. Fishing pressure may increase on non-ITQ species because of spillover from ITQ fisheries, and in cases where fishers anticipate that future ITQ allocations will be based on catch history and therefore increase their current catches. Ecosystem and habitat impacts of ITQs were only sparsely covered in the literature and were difficult to assess: ITQs often lead to changes in total fishing effort (both positive and negative), spatial shifts in effort, and fishing gear modifications. Stock assessments may be complicated by changes in the relationship between catch per unit effort, and abundance, but ITQ participants will often assist in improving data collection and stock assessments. Overall, ITQs have largely positive effects on target species, but mixed or unknown effects on non-target fisheries and the overall ecosystem. Favourable outcomes were linked to sustainable TACs and effective enforcement.
 

Breitburg, D. L. et al. 2009. Nutrient enrichment and fisheries exploitation: interactive effects on estuarine living resources and their management. Hydrobiologia 629(1): 31-47.

Both fisheries exploitation and increased nutrient loadings strongly affect fish and shellfish abundance and production in estuaries. These stressors do not act independently; instead, they jointly influence food webs, and each affects the sensitivity of species and ecosystems to the other. Nutrient enrichment and the habitat degradation it sometimes causes can affect sustainable yields of fisheries, and fisheries exploitation can affect the ability of estuarine systems to process nutrients. The total biomass of fisheries landings in estuaries and semi-enclosed seas tends to increase with nitrogen loadings in spite of hypoxia, but hypoxia and other negative effects of nutrient over-enrichment cause declines in individual species and in parts of systems most severely affected. More thoroughly integrated management of nutrients and fisheries will permit more effective management responses to systems affected by both stressors, including the application of fisheries regulations to rebuild stocks negatively affected by eutrophication. Reducing fishing mortality may lead to the recovery of depressed populations even when eutrophication contributes to population declines if actions are taken while the population retains sufficient reproductive potential. New advances in modeling, statistics, and technology promise to provide the information needed to improve the understanding and management of systems subject to both nutrient enrichment and fisheries exploitation.

Butterworth, D. S. 2008. A commentary on: salvaged pearls: lessons learned from a floundering attempt to develop a management procedure for Southern Bluefin Tuna. Fisheries Research 94: 351-354

Cardinale, M. and H. Svedäng. 2008. Mismanagement of fisheries: Policy or science? Fisheries Research 93(1-2): 244-247.

Several gadoids stocks in the Northeast Atlantic are currently considered as severely overexploited. A fast spreading paradigm is that conventional single-species fisheries management has failed and new approaches are needed. A crucial element of this “novel way of thinking” is the cheered move from conventional single-species management to ‘ecosystem-based management’ in order to assure sustainability in the long term. Here we showed that although conducted within a deterministic single stock modelling framework, and without invoking the ecosystem approach, scientific advice if applied, mirrors in stocks being in relative healthy state. We argue that managers and politicians have had the necessary scientific instruments for managing stocks and avoid stock collapses, but they failed as they tried to minimize the impact of policy on those who are most affected (i.e. the fishing industry) in a short-term perspective. Thus, our results strengthen the hypothesis that it is the practise of ignoring the scientific advice more than the advice itself that is to be blamed for the waste of former large marine resources. What we urgently need for securing marine ecosystems is not more data but immediate actions.

Carpenter, S. R. at al. 2009. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(5): 1305-1312.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social–ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social–ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social–ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services.

Christie, P., et al. 2009. Back to basics: An empirical study demonstrating the importance of local-level dynamics for the success of tropical marine ecosystem-based management. Coastal Management 37(3-4): 349-373.

This analysis of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine protected area (MPA) networks in the Philippines demonstrates that local-level governance and institutional dynamics are central to management effectiveness. Using survey and interview data from 36 communities in the Central Visayas, key variables are identified that are correlated with and predictive of marine protected area success. Empirically based management guidelines are: (1) EBM and MPA design must be context appropriate, (2) capacity development to develop MPA leadership and the technical skills are a good investment, (3) strict and fair punishment for infractions of legitimate rules should be utilized and appear to be welcomed by local residents, and (4) conflict and controversy are a predictable part of MPA design and implementation and need to be planned for. Most importantly, while scaling up management interventions can make both biological and institutional sense, there is a point at which institutional capacity is exceeded. This study strongly suggests that in the Philippines, and likely many other tropical contexts, establishing large-scale EBM, MPA networks, or extensive centrally planned zonation schemes based primarily on national law, international targets, and command-and-control policy are likely to fail. The pressing imperative of ocean-wide environmental decline should not be used to justify infeasible and poorly designed management interventions that ignore local dynamics and institutional constraints.

Christie, P. et al. 2009. Tropical marine EBM feasibility: a synthesis of case studies and comparative analyses. Coastal Management 37(3-4): 374-385.

This overview compares and synthesizes the articles of this theme issue. It highlights that progress has been made toward the goals of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) in tropical regions. Four key findings are presented: (1) Tailoring EBM to specific contexts ultimately determines success. (2) Employment of a wide variety of marine management tools is necessary and complementary to spatial management through marine protected areas (MPAs). (3) Although EBM approaches may be usefully defined using oceanographic and ecological principles, the design and implementation of feasible EBM will require, at least, equal consideration of governance and social conditions. (4) Interest in EBM has grown rapidly; however, this approach only improves ocean resource management if sustained by commitments from, at least, policymakers, resource users, and donors. Practical program design principles stressing the importance of leadership development, awareness raising, institutional reform, conflict resolution, adaptation, and evaluation are derived from these case studies and comparative analyses. A suite of empirically based EBM evaluative criteria, which can be adapted to local contexts, are suggested to fostered learning and progress.

Chu, C. 2009. Thirty years later: the global growth of ITQs and their influence on stock status in marine fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 10(2): 217–230.

Individual transferable quota (ITQ) programmes have been incorporated into many marine fisheries management strategies for 30 years, but their implementation and utility remains controversial. This study provides an overview of the global status of ITQ programmes, the reasons they have been adopted and the changes in stock biomass after their implementation. Eighteen countries currently use ITQs to manage several hundred stocks of at least 249 species. ITQs were adopted in these countries for many reasons: overcapitalization, economic gains, safety concerns for fishers and political change. The implementation of ITQs does not translate into consistent changes in stock biomass. Improvements in 12 of 20 stocks after ITQs were introduced suggest that ITQs can be an effective component of fisheries management strategies, but eight of the stocks continued to decline after ITQs were introduced. This suggests that alternative or complementary measures are needed to sustain those fisheries, such as combining ITQs with more effective total allowable catches, better enforcement and monitoring, and implementing aspects of ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Chuenpagdee, R. and S. Jentoft. 2009. Governability assessment for fisheries and coastal systems: A reality check. Human Ecology 37(1): 109-120.

In this article we argue that in order to understand why some governance systems deliver while others do not, we need to assess contributions and limitations of governability. Here, governability refers to a measure of how governable a particular fisheries and coastal system is. Such a system is always comprised of two parts: a system-to-be-governed and a governing system. Governability also depends on the interactions between these two systems. We provide key variables that must be assessed in order to determine governability related to these systems and their interactions. A governability assessment framework is proposed here to suggest that governance performance can only be judged from what is in the potential of the governing system, given the limitations of the governabiltiy of the system-to-be governed, the governing system itself, and their interactions. Such an assessment helps identify what exactly governing systems can and should do in order to enhance their performance.

Cochrane, K. L., et al. Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem governance and management for an ecosystem approach to fisheries in the region. Coastal Management 37(3-4): 235-254.

This article examines the current status of management in the Benguela Current Large Marine ecosystem and the three coastal states in which it occurs: Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. The three countries have all focused on conventional approaches to fisheries management, concentrating on target species, and management has been largely centrally controlled. They have nevertheless made some progress toward addressing wider ecosystem issues. Scientific capacity has been generally good and scientific advice plays an important role in management decisions although the management capability varies between the countries. All have sufficient capability for ensuring sustainable fisheries but there are skills shortages in some areas. Based largely on a recent project to evaluate the feasibility of implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries in the region, the article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the current management approaches and identifies areas of concern. Limitations and threats to capacity, particularly in production of scientific advice and in management functions, are considered a major problem.

Coleman, K. 2008. Research Review of Collaborative Ecosystem-Based Management in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Coastal Management 36(5): 484-494.

The welfare of the marine environment is threatened worldwide. In order to maintain ecosystem services management must shift from single sector to ecosystem approaches. To support this transition in marine management, this article reviews collaborative ecosystem-based management in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), through an overview and comparison of three collaborations on the United States West Coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. The achievements of these collaborations are demonstrated. Networking and extending collaboration throughout the entire region is shown to be essential for environmental conservation and sustainable development in the CCLME.

Contamin, R. and A. M. Ellison. 2009. Indicators of regime shifts in ecological systems: What do we need to know and when do we need to know it? Ecological Applications 19(3): 799-816.

Because novel ecological conditions can cause severe and long-lasting environmental damage with large economic costs, ecologists must identify possible environmental regime shifts and pro-actively guide ecosystem management. As an illustrative example, we applied six potential indicators of impending regime shifts to S. R. Carpenter and W. A. Brock's model of lake eutrophication and analyzed whether or not they afforded adequate advance warning to enable preventative interventions. Our initial analyses suggest that an indicator based on the high-frequency signal in the spectral density of the time-series provides the best advance warning of a regime shift, even when only incomplete information about underlying system drivers and processes is available. In light of this result, we explored two key factors associated with using indicators to prevent regime shifts. The first key factor is the amount of inertia in the system; i.e., how fast the system will react to a change in management, given that a manager can actually control relevant system drivers. If rapid, intensive management is possible, our analyses suggest that an indicator must provide at least 20 years advance warning to reduce the probability of a regime shift to <5%. As time to intervention is increased or intensity of intervention is decreased, the necessary amount of advance warning required to avoid a regime shift increases exponentially. The second key factor concerns the amount and type of variability intrinsic to the system, and the impact of this variability on the power of an indicator. Indicators are considered powerful if they detect an impending regime shift with adequate lead time for effective management intervention, but not so far in advance that interventions are too costly or unnecessary. Intrinsic "noise" in the system obscures the "signal" provided by all indicators, and therefore, the power of the indicators declines rapidly with increasing within - and between-year variability in measurable variables or parameters. Our results highlight the key role of human decisions in managing ecosystems and the importance of pro-active application of the precautionary principle to avoid regime shifts.

Costello, C., S.D. Gaines and J. Lynham. 2008. Can catch shares prevent fisheries collapse? Science 321(5896): 1678-1681.

Recent reports suggest that most of the world's commercial fisheries could collapse within decades. Although poor fisheries governance is often implicated, evaluation of solutions remains rare. Bioeconomic theory and case studies suggest that rights-based catch shares can provide individual incentives for sustainable harvest that is less prone to collapse. To test whether catch-share fishery reforms achieve these hypothetical benefits, we have compiled a global database of fisheries institutions and catch statistics in 11,135 fisheries from 1950 to 2003. Implementation of catch shares halts, and even reverses, the global trend toward widespread collapse. Institutional change has the potential for greatly altering the future of global fisheries.

Daily, G. C., et al. 2009. Ecosystem services in decision making: time to deliver. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 7(1): 21-28.

Over the past decade, efforts to value and protect ecosystem services have been promoted by many as the last, best hope for making conservation mainstream – attractive and commonplace worldwide. In theory, if we can help individuals and institutions to recognize the value of nature, then this should greatly increase investments in conservation, while at the same time fostering human well-being. In practice, however, we have not yet developed the scientific basis, nor the policy and finance mechanisms, for incorporating natural capital into resource- and land-use decisions on a large scale. Here, we propose a conceptual framework and sketch out a strategic plan for delivering on the promise of ecosystem services, drawing on emerging examples from Hawai‘i. We describe key advances in the science and practice of accounting for natural capital in the decisions of individuals, communities, corporations, and governments.

Dankel, D.J., D.W. Skagen and O. Ulltang. 2008. Fisheries management in practice: review of 13 commercially important fish stocks. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 18(2): 201-233.

This paper comparatively reviews several commercially important fish stocks, their state and their management in various regions of the world including Japanese anchovy, Bay of Biscay anchovy, North Sea sandeel, North Sea herring, Icelandic cod, Barents Sea cod, South African cape hakes, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon, southern bluefin tuna, Pacific halibut, Greenland halibut and Patagonian toothfish. The reviewed fish stocks are systemized in three categories: (1) stock properties and status; (2) management structure and objectives; and (3) management advice. We gather evidence to outline qualities of management regimes that are recommended and highlight those that most often fail. Robust management, biological limits (reference points), implementation and consensus are critical points that separate successful and unsuccessful management regimes. We evaluate each fish stock’s management performance relative to its management objectives and current conservation issues. Furthermore, we point out the importance of stakeholder involvement in fisheries management as well as the problems that international fisheries commissions face through examples from the case studies. Management successes tended to be single-nation and single-stock fisheries with capacity control and clear stakeholder involvement. Fisheries with fleet overcapacity, unclear objectives and illegal activity characterized the case studies with management problems.

Davies, S. R. 2008. Constructing communication: talking to scientists about talking to the public. Science Communication 29(4): 413-434.

Recent work has started to explore “scientific understandings of publics” alongside public understandings of science. This study builds on this work to examine the ways in which public communication is talked about by scientists and engineers. The author identifies a range of ways of talking about the purposes and content of science communication to the public, arguing that the dominant framework for these is one-way communication, and that, in addition, such communication tends to be constructed as difficult and dangerous. However, the
author further identifies a range of minority discourses that understand public communication in more complex terms.

Douvere, F. 2008. The importance of marine spatial planning in advancing ecosystem-based sea use management. Marine Policy 32(5): 762-771.

During the past 10 years, the evolution of marine spatial planning (MSP) and ocean zoning has become a crucial step in making ecosystem-based, sea use management a reality. The idea was initially stimulated by international and national interest in developing marine protected areas, e.g., the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. More recent attention has been placed on managing the multiple use of marine space, especially in areas where conflicts among users and the environment are already clear, e.g., in the North Sea. Even more recent concern has focused on the need to conserve nature, especially ecologically and biologically sensitive areas, in the context of multi-use planning of ocean space. Despite academic discussions and the fact that some countries already have started implementation, the scope of MSP has not been clearly defined. Terms such as integrated management, marine spatial management, and ocean zoning are all used inconsistently. This is one of the reasons why its importance is not more seriously reflected at the levels of policy and decision-making in most countries. This article attempts to deal with this problem. It describes why MSP is an essential step to achieve ecosystem-based sea use management, how it can be defined and what its core objectives are. The article concludes with an analysis of the use and achievements of MSP worldwide, with particular focus on new approaches in Europe.

Douvere, F. and C. N. Ehler. 2009. New perspectives on sea use management: Initial findings from European experience with marine spatial planning. Journal of Environmental Management 90(1): 77-88.

Increased development pressures on the marine environment and the potential for multiple use conflicts, arising as a result of the current expansion of offshore wind energy, fishing and aquaculture, dredging, mineral extraction, shipping, and the need to meet international and national commitments to biodiversity conservation, have led to increased interest in sea use planning with particular emphasis on marine spatial planning. Several European countries, on their own initiative or driven by the European Union's Marine Strategy and Maritime Policy, the Bergen Declaration of the North Sea Conference, and the EU Recommendation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, have taken global leadership in implementing marine spatial planning. Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany in the North Sea, and the United Kingdom in the Irish Sea, have already completed preliminary sea use plans and zoning proposals for marine areas within their national jurisdictions. This paper discusses the nature and context of marine spatial planning, the international legal and policy framework, and the increasing need for marine spatial planning in Europe. In addition, the authors review briefly three marine spatial planning initiatives in the North Sea and conclude with some initial lessons learned from these experiences.

Essington, T.E. 2010. Ecological indicators display reduced variation in North American catch share fisheries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(2): 754-759.

A growing push to implement catch share fishery programs is based partly on the recognition that they may provide stronger incentives for ecological stewardship than conventional fisheries management. Using data on population status, quota compliance, discard rates, use of habitat-damaging gear, and landings for 15 catch share programs in North America, I tested the hypothesis that catch share systems lead to improved ecological stewardship and status of exploited populations. Impacts of catch share programs were measured through comparisons of fisheries with catch shares to fisheries without catch shares or by comparing fisheries before and after catch shares were implemented. The average levels of most indicators were unaffected by catch share implementation: only discard rate, which declined significantly in catch share fisheries, showed a significant response. However, catch share fisheries were distinguished by markedly reduced interannual variability in all indicators, being statistically significant for exploitation rate, landings, discard rate, and the ratio of catch to catch quotas. These impacts of catch shares were common between nations and ocean basins and were independent of the number of years that catch share programs had been in place. These findings suggest that for the indicators examined, the primary effect of catch shares was greater consistency over time. This enhanced consistency could be beneficial to fishery systems and might also be an indication of more effective management.

Evans, K.E. and T. Klinger. 2008. Obstacles to bottom-up implementation of marine ecosystem management. Conservation Biology 22(5): 1135-1143.

Ecosystem management (EM) offers a means to address multiple threats to marine resources. Despite recognition of the importance of stakeholder involvement, most efforts to implement EM in marine systems are the product of top-down regulatory control. We describe a rare, stakeholder-driven attempt to implement EM from the bottom up in San Juan County, Washington (U.S.A.). A citizens advisory group led a 2-year, highly participatory effort to develop an ecosystem-based management plan, guided by a preexisting conservation-planning framework. A key innovation was to incorporate social dimensions by designating both sociocultural and biodiversity targets in the planning process. Multiple obstacles hindered implementation of EM in this setting. Despite using a surrogate scheme, the information-related transaction costs of planning were substantial: information deficits prevented assessment of some biodiversity targets and insufficient resources combined with information deficits prevented scientific assessment of the sociocultural targets. Substantial uncertainty, practical constraints to stakeholder involvement, and the existence of multiple, potentially conflicting, objectives increased negotiation-related costs. Although information deficits and uncertainty, coupled with underinvestment in the transaction costs of planning, could reduce the long-term effectiveness of the plan itself, the social capital and momentum developed through the planning process could yield unforeseeable future gains in protection of marine resources. The obstacles we identified here will require early and sustained attention in efforts to implement ecosystem management in other grassroots settings.

Fanning, L., R. Mahon, and P. McConney. 2009. Focusing on living marine resource governance: The Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem and Adjacent Areas Project. Coastal Management 37(3-4): 219-234.

This article provides an overview of living marine resource governance in the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) and discusses how this relates to ecosystem-based management at the geographical scale of the LME. It also provides an overview of the approach to governance reform that will be taken by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem and Adjacent Areas Project. The geopolitical complexity of the Caribbean region is such that regional governance appears to be more challenging there than in most other regions. The proximity of states leads to a high incidence of transboundary issues regarding living marine resources. The high proportion of small island developing states (SIDS), defined at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development as countries facing specific social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities, and high incidence of coastal use for industry, tourism, fisheries, and urban development leads to heavy impacts on coastal and marine resources. Regarding institutional arrangements, there are many organizations at regional and subregional levels already engaged in most aspects of marine resource management, sometimes in collaboration, sometimes in competition, and often in relative isolation. Likewise, at national and local levels there is a host of government and nongovernmental organizations with diverse aspirations and perspectives. The challenge then is to develop a regional approach that recognizes the existence of this diversity and works with it. The development of the Caribbean LME and Adjacent Areas Project has forced regional partners to reflect on the Caribbean living marine resource governance situation. It has led to the formulation and adoption of the LME Governance Framework. This framework, which departs somewhat from the conventional LME approach, appears to have the potential to meet the aforementioned challenge. It defines the relative roles of scientists, decision makers, and implementers at various levels and provides a basis for incremental implementation of improvements in governance.

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA). Available online at http://www.fao.org/fishery/sofia/en.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) is the flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. This premier advocacy document is published every two years to provide policy-makers, civil society and those whose livelihoods depend on the sector a comprehensive, objective and global view of capture fisheries and aquaculture, including associated policy issues.

Fisher, B., R. K. Turner and P. Morling. 2009. Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics 68(3): 643-653.

The concept of ecosystems services has become an important model for linking the functioning of ecosystems to human welfare. Understanding this link is critical for a wide-range of decision-making contexts. While there have been several attempts to come up with a classification scheme for ecosystem services, there has not been an agreed upon, meaningful and consistent definition for ecosystem services. In this paper we offer a definition of ecosystem services that is likely to be operational for ecosystem service research and several classification schemes. We argue that any attempt at classifying ecosystem services should be based on both the characteristics of the ecosystems of interest and a decision context for which the concept of ecosystem services is being mobilized. Because of this there is not one classification scheme that will be adequate for the many contexts in which ecosystem service research may be utilized. We discuss several examples of how classification schemes will be a function of both ecosystem and ecosystem service characteristics and the decision-making context.

Forst, M. F. 2009. The convergence of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the ecosystems approach. Ocean and Coastal Management 52(6): 294-306.

The primary role of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management model was to arbitrate conflicts between stakeholders in a living and natural resource environment characterized by a common property and open access doctrine. A chronology of events describes how the development and acceptance of an ecosystems approach policy began to converge and coincide with the spread and development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Those organizations that gave representation to the conservation ethic became internationally recognized as surrogate natural resource ‘users’, the interests of which possessed commonality with all stakeholder interests in general. The tenants of conservation policy were therefore largely employed to decide the merits of disputes over ocean and coastal resources. In the 1990s, scientists created a forum to debate, better define, and institutionalize a sound basis for ecosystem management theory and practice. Protocols were developed that embedded science in living and natural resources planning and management. These protocols were shaped and adopted to serve an evermore contemporary Integrated Coastal Zone Management model. Improvements in methodology include the use of adaptive management, ecological modeling and monitoring, appropriate temporal and spatial scales, salient indicators, and stakeholder participation. This contemporary approach is dependent upon recognizing the benefits inherent in utilizing instruments capable of managing resources on a holistic level. Bioregional planning and zoning accommodate the successful management of resources on this level. It is a direct outcome of the convergence of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the ecosystems approach. Bioregional zoning schemes are capable of traversing the private property and common property doctrines that define the respective terrestrial and aquatic environments of the coastal zone. A comparative case study of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Belize Marine Protected Area Program is included as an annex, the analysis of which is predicated upon the principles espoused in the literature.

Foxon, T.J., M.S. Reed and L.C. Stringer. 2009. Governing long-term social-ecological change: what can the adaptive management and transition management approaches learn from each other? Environmental Policy and Governance 19(1): 3-20.

Maintaining social welfare and opportunity in the face of severe ecological pressures requires frameworks for managing and governing long-term social-ecological change. In this paper we analyse two recent frameworks, adaptive management and transition management, outlining what they could learn from each other. Though usually applied in different domains, the two conceptual frameworks aim to integrate bottom-up and top-down approaches, and share a focus on the ability of systems to learn and develop adaptive capacity whilst facing external shocks and long-term pressures. Both also emphasize learning from experimentation in complex systems, but transition management focuses more on the ability to steer long-term changes in system functions, whilst adaptive management emphasizes the maintenance of system functions in the face of external change. The combination of iterative learning and stakeholder participation from adaptive management has the potential to incorporate vital feedbacks into transition management, which in turn offers a longer-term perspective from which to learn about and manage socio-technical and social-ecological change. It is argued that by combining insights from both frameworks it may be possible to foster more robust and resilient governance of social-ecological systems than could be achieved by either approach alone. The paper concludes by critically reflecting upon the challenges and benefits of combining elements of each approach, as has been attempted in the methodology of a research project investigating social-ecological change in UK uplands. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Gaichas, S.K. 2008. A context for ecosystem-based fishery management: Developing concepts of ecosystems and sustainability. Marine Policy 32(3): 393-401.

Ecosystems have been viewed both as chaotic, untamed nature, and as mechanical systems with predictable equilibrium states. A developing concept of ecosystems as “complex adaptive systems” lies between these extreme concepts, with recognizably patterned but not fully predictable behavior. Sustainability has also been redefined as humans have exploited and often depleted desirable natural resources. Fisheries management desires sustainable yield, but must rethink this concept within the ecosystem context. The most powerful union of “ecosystem” and “sustainability” acknowledges the defining characteristics of complex adaptive systems with the objective of identifying and sustaining healthy relationships within and between ecosystems, economies, and society.

Gibbs, M.T. 2009. Individual transferable quotas and ecosystem-based fisheries management: it's all in the T. Fish and Fisheries 10:470-474.

Recent articles in high-profile journals advocating the widespread establishment of economic rights-based approaches for managing fisheries has re-kindled the debate over the efficacy of incentive-based vs. regulatory-based management approaches. Inspection of these works, written from the particular perspectives of economics, fisheries biology, or marine ecology, reveals that advocates of rights-based regimes such as Individual Transferrable Quotas are sometimes recommending these policy instruments for quite different reasons. Hence, the advantageous attributes of rights-based approaches from the perspective of one discipline may be quite different when seen from the perspective of another discipline. This is of concern as it exposes a tendency for particular disciplines to consider only the advantages of rights-based approaches, such as establishing a harvest cap, but to implicitly discount the disadvantages such as less attention being paid to critical ecological and ecosystem issues.

Granek, E. F. et al. 2008. Engaging recreational fishers in management and conservation: global case studies. Conservation Biology 22(5): 1125-1134.

Globally, the number of recreational fishers is sizeable and increasing in many countries. Associated with this trend is the potential for negative impacts on fish stocks through exploitation or management measures such as stocking and introduction of non-native fishes. Nevertheless, recreational fishers can be instrumental in successful fisheries conservation through active involvement in, or initiation of, conservation projects to reduce both direct and external stressors contributing to fishery declines. Understanding fishers' concerns for sustained access to the resource and developing methods for their meaningful participation can have positive impacts on conservation efforts. We examined a suite of case studies that demonstrate successful involvement of recreational fishers in conservation and management activities that span developed and developing countries, temperate and tropical regions, marine and freshwater systems, and open- and closed-access fisheries. To illustrate potential benefits and challenges of involving recreational fishers in fisheries management and conservation, we examined the socioeconomic and ecological contexts of each case study. We devised a conceptual framework for the engagement of recreational fishers that targets particular types of involvement (enforcement, advocacy, conservation, management design [type and location], research, and monitoring) on the basis of degree of stakeholder stewardship, scale of the fishery, and source of impacts (internal or external). These activities can be enhanced by incorporating local knowledge and traditions, taking advantage of leadership and regional networks, and creating collaborations among various stakeholder groups, scientists, and agencies to maximize the probability of recreational fisher involvement and project success.

Grasso, G.M. 2008. What appeared limitless plenty: The rise and fall of the nineteenth-century Atlantic halibut fishery. Environmental History 13(1): 66-91.

The destruction of the nineteenth-century Atlantic halibut fishery occurred in the space of a few decades and without industrial fishing methods. Between the 1840s and the 1880s, halibut moved from by-catch to marketable product. This change from negative commodification to positive commodification resulted from increased immigration, technological advances, changing consumer tastes, and halibut's natural history. Once almost infinitely abundant, commercial value and growing markets led to enthusiastic fishing efforts mid-nineteenth century. Market demand influenced both human behaviors and ecosystems. A series of localized depletions became the commercial extinction of halibut in the northwest Atlantic. The nineteenth-century Atlantic halibut fishery demonstrates how species once considered by-catch can be pushed to commercial extinction.

Griffith, D.R. 2008. The ecological implications of individual fishing quotas and harvest cooperatives. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6(4): 191-198.

Globally, 75% of fish stocks are fully exploited or overexploited, and fishing pressure continues to threaten marine ecosystems and the cultures and economies that depend on them. Decades of government regulation have largely failed to stem the ecological damage associated with fishing. Designated access privilege (DAP) systems such as individual fishing quotas (IFQs) and harvest cooperatives are one attempt to realign incentives so that fishers no longer race to maximize catches. IFQs are not appropriate for many fisheries. Fortunately, the IFQ debate has drawn attention to the link between incentives that fishers face and the ecological consequences of fishing. Despite important social concerns, preliminary evidence suggests that IFQs encourage cooperation, fisher stewardship, and a slower pace of fishing. This review points to the need to improve the metrics of marine ecosystem health and pursue quantitative methods for assessing the ecological impacts of different management approaches.

Gunningham, N. 2009. Environment law, regulation and governance: shifting architectures. Journal of Environmental Law 21(2): 179-212.

Environmental law and policy has come a long way since the birth of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the launch of the first European environmental policy in 1972. Today law is no longer centre stage but simply one instrument among others in the environmental regulator's toolkit. And talk of regulation may itself be giving way to the broader concept of environmental governance. This article examines the evolution of environmental law, regulation and governance over almost four decades. It explores the major initiatives of that period and the lessons that can be learned from them, it maps shifting regulatory architectures and explains what has worked and why and it considers the changing nature of the environmental challenge itself. Finally, it seeks to identify which particular architectures are most suited to deal with particular types of environmental problems.

Hanssen, L., E. Rouwette and M.M. van Katwijk. 2009. The Role of Ecological Science in Environmental Policy Making: from a Pacification toward a Facilitation Strategy. Ecology and Society 14(1): online.

Based on a Dutch case study on shellfish fishery policy making and a literature review, we expand existing guidelines for coastal zone management. We deduce constraints for handling societally contested and scientifically complex environmental issues. Our additions focus on problem structuring and handling of scientific uncertainties. Both are means to increase consensus about beliefs, ambitions, and directions for solutions. Before policy making can take place, complex environmental issues need to become more structured by reducing either scientific uncertainty or societal dissent: the "pacification strategy" and the "facilitation strategy," respectively. We show that the use of a pacification strategy, in which science is expected to pacify stakeholders, is not an answer, as uncertainties are likely to remain high due to a different pacing of scientific progress and policy-making demands. Instead, we propose a facilitation strategy in which stakeholders formulate shared ambitions and directions for solutions at an early stage, and ecological scientists extend their participation in the process by scientifically assessing policy alternatives. With an eye to giving ecological science a significant role in policy making and management, we present an improved set of guidelines, incorporating the facilitation strategy by focusing on balancing economic and ecological interests and shared policy formulation by scientific inquiry instead of political opportunity.

Hartley, T.W. and R.A. Robertson. 2008. Cooperative Research Program Goals in New England : Perceptions of Active Commercial Fishermen. Fisheries 33(11): 551-559.

Cooperative fisheries research will continue to expand throughout the United States with the 2007 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which called for the development of regionally-based cooperative research programs nationwide. We report on a survey of individuals actively engaged in commercial fishing in New England (N = 295) that asked how important and achievable cooperative research programmatic goals are and why. One goal, "the promotion of partnerships between fishermen and scientists," was particularly important to fishermen because partnerships are believed to be in everyone's interests, enhance the quality of the science, lead to better management decisions, improve the professional relationships between fishermen and scientists, and speak to a fishermen's sense of professional duty. However, fewer respondents considered the partnership goal achievable because of a wide range of obstacles. Based upon the findings and published studies on the perceptions of scientists and mangers, we discuss recommendations for cooperative research managers.

Hilborn, R. 2006. Faith-based fisheries. Fisheries 31(11): 554-555.

From the essay: "However, before we congratulate ourselves too much for the triumph of the
scientific method over belief, I suggest the fisheries community needs to look at itself and question whether there is not a within our own field a strong movement of faithbased acceptance of ideas, and a search for data that support these ideas, rather than critical and skeptical analysis of the evidence."

Hummel, S., et al. 2009. Conserving biodiversity using risk management: hoax or hope? Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 7(2): 103-109.

Biodiversity has been called a form of ecosystem insurance. According to the “insurance hypothesis”, the presence of many species protects against system decline, because builtin redundancies guarantee that some species will maintain key functions even if others fail. The hypothesis might have merit, but calling it “insurance” promotes an ambiguous understanding of risk management strategies and underlying theories of risk. Instead, such redundancy suggests a strategy of diversification. A clearer understanding of risk includes comprehending the important distinction between risk assessment and risk management, acknowledging the existence of undiversifiable risk, and recognizing that risk and uncertainty are not synonymous. A better grasp of risk management will help anyone interested in assessing the merits of different biodiversity conservation strategies. At stake is the adequacy of conservation strategies for mitigating human-caused biodiversity losses.

Irvine, J. R. 2009. The successful completion of scientific public policy: lessons learned while developing Canada's Wild Salmon Policy. Environmental Science and Policy 12(2): 140-148.

Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy gives Canadians the opportunity to make informed decisions about the amount of habitat, ecosystem, and salmon diversity to protect, in order to provide salmon with the potential to adapt and survive in a changing environment. Valuable lessons learned during the completion of this recent landmark conservation policy include: (1) there must be an express need for major new policies and decision makers should be receptive to proposed changes; (2) resource and expertise allocation should be realistic to ensure successful and timely policy completion; (3) science-based policies must be based on good science; (4) environmental policies require input from multiple disciplines—biological consequences are only one element that politicians and decision-makers need to consider; (5) since there will always be uncertainty, and different perspectives on the level of risk that various stakeholders are willing to accept, a precautionary approach is appropriate; (6) to be effective, communication should be open and transparent; and finally (7) it is important to think beyond policy completion—how will the policy be implemented? Documenting these lessons should assist others, thereby resulting in more efficient completion of science-based policies.

Jiao, Y. 2009. Regime shift in marine ecosystems and implications for fisheries management, a review. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19(2): 177-191.

The concept of regime shift in marine ecosystems has arisen in recent years. This study reviews the origin, scientific meaning, driving forces of marine ecosystem regime shrifts. Driving forces include climate-ocean oscillation, fishing, introduced species, river flow, eutrophication, disease and pollution. Several controversial questions are discussed: whether regime shift is just a climate oscillation noise, the difficulties of separating driving forces, and whether the impacts of ecosystem regime shift are necessarily bad or good. The methods used to model regime shifts in ecosystems are reviewed. These methods include two types of models: general circulation model and historical description. The implications of regime shift in fisheries are considered, including examples of impacts, consequences of not considering regime shift, and difficulties in incorporating regime shift into the current stock assessment models. Possible future research needed to understand and model regime shifts is discussed, including strategies for fisheries management.

Juntti, M., D. Russel, and J. Turnpenny. 2009. Evidence, politics and power in public policy for the environment. Environmental Science & Policy 12(3): 207-215.

Despite a recent emphasis on ‘evidence based policy’ accompanied by an abundance of ‘green’ policy instruments, experience from the European Union and OECD countries shows that decisions which truly aim to balance environmental considerations with social and economic ones remain thin on the ground. Moreover, many policies seem to fall short of, or directly contradict what the available ‘evidence’ suggests is required. This is a synthesis paper bringing together literature from the fields of political science, geography, sociology and science and technology studies to outline some of the obscurities relating to the use of scientific evidence in environmental decision-making. In this paper, we suggest that an exploration of three key inter-related issues is necessary to develop a richer understanding of why evidence and policy interact as they do. These are the nature of evidence itself; the normative, moral or ethical ‘politics’ of policy-making; and the operation of power in the policy process. Our primary goal is to bring various literatures together to better conceptualise the evidence–policy relationship. In so doing, we outline specific challenges for knowledge producers who set research priorities, and design and direct research projects. We also highlight significant implications for policy decision-making processes.

Keane, A. et al. 2008. The sleeping policeman: understanding issues of enforcement and compliance in conservation. Animal Conservation 11(2): 75-82.

Rules governing human behaviour are at the heart of every system of natural resource management. Without compliance, however, rules are meaningless so effective enforcement is essential if conservation is to be successful. There is a large body of theory concerning enforcement and compliance with rules spread over several disciplines, including psychology, economics and sociology. However, there have been few attempts to extend this theory to conservation applications and there is little practical guidance for managers and conservation planners on the optimal design of enforcement programmes. We review approaches to understanding why individuals break rules and how optimal policy choices can reduce rule-breaking, highlighting research which has specifically dealt with natural resources. Because of the difficulty of studying rule-breaking behaviour directly, modelling approaches have been particularly important and have been used to explore behaviour at the individual, group and institutional levels. We illustrate the application of models of enforcement and compliance to conservation using the African elephant Loxodonta africana as a case study. Further work is needed to create practical tools which can be applied to the design of enforcement measures in conservation. Particular challenges include understanding the importance of violations of rationality assumptions and incorporating intertemporal choice in models of decision making. In conclusion, we argue that a new field of robust theory and practice is urgently needed to ensure that issues of enforcement and compliance do not undermine conservation initiatives.

Koch, E. W. et al. 2009. Non-linearity in ecosystem services: temporal and spatial variability in coastal protection. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment 7(1): 29-37.

Natural processes tend to vary over time and space, as well as between species. The ecosystem services these natural processes provide are therefore also highly variable. It is often assumed that ecosystem services are provided linearly (unvaryingly, at a steady rate), but natural processes are characterized by thresholds and limiting functions. In this paper, we describe the variability observed in wave attenuation provided by marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs and therefore also in coastal protection. We calculate the economic consequences of assuming coastal protection to be linear. We suggest that, in order to refine ecosystem-based management practices, it is essential that natural variability and cumulative effects be considered in the valuation of ecosystem services.

Le Gallic, B. 2008. The use of trade measures against illicit fishing: Economic and legal considerations. Ecological Economics 64(4): 858-866.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities are a threat for both the marine environment and society. By undermining effective management systems, IUU fishing activities affect economic performance, social welfare and compliance decisions. So far, “traditional” control and surveillance-like measures have had a limited success in deterring IUU fishing, so this paper aims at throwing light on several forms of trade-related initiatives that can be more effective. The paper suggests that both the effectiveness and further development of such measures strongly depend on the way they are designed, especially with respect to their trade-law compatibility. However, current discussions on future trade-based policy developments within some key economic areas suggest that trade measures are a sound option for policy makers. While the paper focuses on fisheries issues, it is also expected to inform the international debate surrounding the sustainable use of natural resources in general, as many sectors face similar biodiversity and trade challenges (e.g. tropical forest, mangroves, etc.).

Mather, M.E., D.L. Parrish and J.M. Dettmers. 2008. Mapping the changing landscape of fish-related journals: setting a course for successful communication of scientific literature. Fisheries 33(9): 444-453.

In the last 25 years, the number and scope of fish-related journals have changed. New and existing journals are increasingly specialized. Journals that are read and cited are changing because of differential accessibility via electronic databases. In this review, we examine shifts in numbers and foci of existing fish-related journals. We ask how these fish-related metrics differ across type of application, ecological system, taxa, and discipline. Although many journals overlap to some extent in content, there are distinct groups of journals for authors to consider. By systematically reviewing the focus of an individual manuscript, comparing it to the suite of journals available and examining the audience for the manuscript, we believe that authors can make informed decisions about which journals are most suitable for their work. Our goal here is to help authors find relevant journals and deliver scientific publications to the appropriate readership.

McWhinnie, S.F. 2009. The tragedy of the commons in international fisheries: An empirical examination. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 57(3): 321-333.

Historically, all capture fisheries have proven hard to manage; internationally shared stocks face an additional impediment to effective management. Previous fisheries studies estimate gains from cooperation for particular species or locations, but evidence is lacking on the wider effect that international sharing has in relation to other variables that affect stock status. This paper is an attempt to shed a broader light on the effect of sharing by identifying whether shared fish stocks are systematically more exploited. I compile exploitation status, biological and economic data into a unique two-period panel of more than 200 fish stocks from around the globe with which I test the theoretical implications of sharing. The empirical results from ordered category estimation suggest that shared stocks are indeed more prone to overexploitation.

Moore, J.E. et al. 2009. A review of marine mammal, sea turtle and seabrid bycatch in USA fisheries and the role of policy in shaping management. Marine Policy 33(3): 435-451.

This paper reviews the available information (observer programs, estimates, statutes, regulations) for bycatch of marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds in fisheries of the United States. Goals of the review were to valuate the state of knowledge of bycatch and the role of existing protective legislation in shaping bycatch anagement for different taxa. Pressing issues are identified, as well as knowledge gaps and policy limitations that hinder multi-species bycatch reduction. The USA has made important progress toward reducing bycatch in its fisheries, but the efficacy of its management has been limited somewhat by a focus on taxon- and fishery-specific regulation and the lack of consistent mandate across taxa for taking a cumulative perspective on bycatch. Applying consistent criteria across taxa for setting bycatch limits (e.g., extending the approach used for marine mammals to seaturtles and seabirds) would be the first step in a multi-species approach to bycatch reduction. A population based multi-species multi-gear approach to bycatch would help identify priority areas wherere sources are needed most and can be used most effectively.

Mora, C. et al. 2009. Management effectiveness of the world's marine fisheries. PLoS Biology 7(5): e1000131.

Ongoing declines in production of the world's fisheries may have serious ecological and socioeconomic consequences. As a result, a number of international efforts have sought to improve management and prevent overexploitation, while helping to maintain biodiversity and a sustainable food supply. Although these initiatives have received broad acceptance, the extent to which corrective measures have been implemented and are effective remains largely unknown. We used a survey approach, validated with empirical data, and enquiries to over 13,000 fisheries experts (of which 1,188 responded) to assess the current effectiveness of fisheries management regimes worldwide; for each of those regimes, we also calculated the probable sustainability of reported catches to determine how management affects fisheries sustainability. Our survey shows that 7% of all coastal states undergo rigorous scientific assessment for the generation of management policies, 1.4% also have a participatory and transparent processes to convert scientific recommendations into policy, and 0.95% also provide for robust mechanisms to ensure the compliance with regulations; none is also free of the effects of excess fishing capacity, subsidies, or access to foreign fishing. A comparison of fisheries management attributes with the sustainability of reported fisheries catches indicated that the conversion of scientific advice into policy, through a participatory and transparent process, is at the core of achieving fisheries sustainability, regardless of other attributes of the fisheries. Our results illustrate the great vulnerability of the world's fisheries and the urgent need to meet well-identified guidelines for sustainable management; they also provide a baseline against which future changes can be quantified.

Mueller, K.B. et al. 2008. Social Networks and Fisheries: the Relationship between a Charter Fishing Network, Social Capital, and Catch Dynamics. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28(2): 447-462.

Nik Hashim, N.M. 2008. Steady state and intertemporal management models for marine fisheries. Natural Resource Modeling 21(1): 148-177.

Steady state and dynamic management models are developed for analyzing the Malaysian marine fisheries. These models originate from the theoretical concepts of the natural resource economics namely the open access, limited entry and the intertemporal fishery models. Such management models are deemed necessary because of the need to sustain the depleting resource and degrading environment. Marine fisheries had been managed under open access for a long time before government intervention took effect sometime during the 1960s. Open access and government intervention during the earlier phase of economic development contributed to the immediate pressure on fisheries. Community development programs geared to alleviate poverty among the fishermen apparently contradicted the effort of sustaining fisheries. Even today this fundamental management objective of sustainable development of fishery resource is not fully adhered to. This study suggests that ability to sustain fishery requires government intervention that can direct resource use to steady state or intertemporal optimal levels.

Nøstbakken, L. 2008. Fisheries law enforcement—A survey of the economic literature. Marine Policy 32(3): 293-300.

The paper reviews and summarises the literature on regulatory enforcement in fisheries. The focus is on the theoretical literature. First, some of the main contributions from the general economic literature of law enforcement are presented, along with extensions that are considered relevant to the study of fisheries law enforcement. Second, a review of the economic literature of law enforcement applied to the study of fisheries is provided. Finally, the paper presents gaps in the fisheries economics literature on regulatory enforcement and offers some possibilities for future work.

Payne, A.I.L. and G. M. Pilling. 2008. Sustainability and present-day approaches to fisheries management - are the two concepts irreconcilable? African Journal of Marine Science 30(1): 1-10.

Sustainability may be defined as the maintenance of the quality, diversity and availability of fishery resources in sufficient quantities for present and future generations. But how do modern management systems aim to achieve this in the face of natural fluctuations and human-induced pressures? Using four case study fisheries (northern Atlantic cod and North Sea cod [both Gadus morhua], Pacific sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria, and South African West Coast lobster Jasus lalandii), we examine the components and considerations used in the development of management systems. Historically, these considerations have been biology-based, incorporating reference points appropriate for management goals or targets. Following some quite spectacular failures, however, inputs from disciplines such as socio-economics and ecosystem science are increasingly important drivers behind management decisions, but have the potential to increase management complexity greatly. We identify three areas of particular importance. Precautionary, robust and responsive management is needed, with pre-agreed actions to be taken when particular conditions are experienced. Management decisions need to be based upon adequate scientific information, particularly given the increasing variety of drivers for management. Finally, fisheries management needs to be a collaborative process, involving all stakeholders, thereby raising the credibility of management for all participants. Integrating all these aspects within the fisheries management framework is complex, but when combined with the realisation that harvests are likely to be lower than historical levels, there appears to be a greater chance of successful sustainable exploitation.

Pilling, G.M. and A.I.L. Payne. 2008. Sustainability and present-day approaches to fisheries management - are the two concepts irreconcilable? African Journal of Marine Science 30(1): 1-10.

Sustainability may be defined as the maintenance of the quality, diversity and availability of fishery resources in sufficient quantities for present and future generations. But how do modern management systems aim to achieve this in the face of natural fluctuations and human-induced pressures? Using four case study fisheries (northern Atlantic cod and North Sea cod [both Gadus morhua], Pacific sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria, and South African West Coast lobster Jasus lalandii), we examine the components and considerations used in the development of management systems. Historically, these considerations have been biology-based, incorporating reference points appropriate for management goals or targets. Following some quite spectacular failures, however, inputs from disciplines such as socio-economics and ecosystem science are increasingly important drivers behind management decisions, but have the potential to increase management complexity greatly. We identify three areas of particular importance. Precautionary, robust and responsive management is needed, with pre-agreed actions to be taken when particular conditions are experienced. Management decisions need to be based upon adequate scientific information, particularly given the increasing variety of drivers for management. Finally, fisheries management needs to be a collaborative process, involving all stakeholders, thereby raising the credibility of management for all participants. Integrating all these aspects within the fisheries management framework is complex, but when combined with the realisation that harvests are likely to be lower than historical levels, there appears to be a greater chance of successful sustainable exploitation.

Pinkerton, E. and D.N. Edwards. 2009. The elephant in the room: The hidden costs of leasing individual transferable fishing quotas. Marine Policy 33(4): 707-713.

Despite the increasingly positive reviews of individual transferable quotas (ITQs), few studies have considered how quota leasing activities can reduce the economic benefits to society and to fishermen operating under the ITQ fisheries system. This analysis reveals negative economic impacts of ITQs previously overlooked by examining the extent of quota leasing and the relationship between the catch value, the cost of fishing, and the quota lease price in the BC halibut fishery, long considered a poster child for ITQs. Findings challenge assumptions of economic theory used to promote the benefits of ITQs.

Reed, M.S. 2008. Stakeholder participation for environmental management: A literature review. Biological Conservation 141(10): 2417-2431.

The complex and dynamic nature of environmental problems requires flexible and transparent decision-making that embraces a diversity of knowledges and values. For this reason, stakeholder participation in environmental decision-making has been increasingly sought and embedded into national and international policy. Although many benefits have been claimed for participation, disillusionment has grown amongst practitioners and stakeholders who have felt let down when these claims are not realised. This review first traces the development of participatory approaches in different disciplinary and geographical contexts, and reviews typologies that can be used to categorise and select participatory methods. It then reviews evidence for normative and pragmatic benefits of participation, and evaluates limitations and drawbacks. Although few of the claims that are made have been tested, there is evidence that stakeholder participation can enhance the quality of environmental decisions by considering more comprehensive information inputs. However, the quality of decisions made through stakeholder participation is strongly dependant on the nature of the process leading to them. Eight features of best practice participation are then identified from a Grounded Theory Analysis of the literature. These features emphasise the need to replace a “tool-kit” approach, which emphasises selecting the relevant tools for the job, with an approach that emphasises participation as a process. It is argued that stakeholder participation needs to be underpinned by a philosophy that emphasises empowerment, equity, trust and learning. Where relevant, participation should be considered as early as possible and throughout the process, representing relevant stakeholders systematically. The process needs to have clear objectives from the outset, and should not overlook the need for highly skilled facilitation. Local and scientific knowledges can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of complex and dynamic socio-ecological systems and processes. Such knowledge can also be used to evaluate the appropriateness of potential technical and local solutions to environmental problems. Finally, it is argued that to overcome many of its limitations, stakeholder participation must be institutionalised, creating organisational cultures that can facilitate processes where goals are negotiated and outcomes are necessarily uncertain. In this light, participatory processes may seem very risky, but there is growing evidence that if well designed, these perceived risks may be well worth taking. The review concludes by identifying future research needs.

Reed, M.S., et al. 2009. Who's in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management 90(5): 1933-1949.

Stakeholder analysis means many things to different people. Various methods and approaches have been developed in different fields for different purposes, leading to confusion over the concept and practice of stakeholder analysis. This paper asks how and why stakeholder analysis should be conducted for participatory natural resource management research. This is achieved by reviewing the development of stakeholder analysis in business management, development and natural resource management. The normative and instrumental theoretical basis for stakeholder analysis is discussed, and a stakeholder analysis typology is proposed. This consists of methods for: i) identifying stakeholders; ii) differentiating between and categorising stakeholders; and iii) investigating relationships between stakeholders. The range of methods that can be used to carry out each type of analysis is reviewed. These methods and approaches are then illustrated through a series of case studies funded through the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. These case studies show the wide range of participatory and non-participatory methods that can be used, and discuss some of the challenges and limitations of existing methods for stakeholder analysis. The case studies also propose new tools and combinations of methods that can more effectively identify and categorise stakeholders and help understand their inter-relationships.

Reiss, H. et al. 2009. Genetic population structure of marine fish: mismatch between biological and fisheries management units. Fish and Fisheries 10(4): 361-395.

An essential prerequisite of a sustainable fisheries management is the matching of biologically relevant processes and management action. In fisheries management and assessment, fish stocks are the fundamental biological unit, but the reasoning for the operational management unit is often indistinct and mismatches between the biology and the management action frequently occur. Despite the plethora of population genetic data on marine fishes, to date little or no use is made of the information, despite the fact that the detection of genetic differentiation may indicate reproductively distinct populations. Here, we discuss key aspects of genetic population differentiation in the context of their importance for fisheries management. Furthermore, we evaluate the population structure of all 32 managed marine fish species in the north-east Atlantic and relate this structure to current management units and practice. Although a large number of studies on genetic population structure have been published in the last decades, data are still rare for most exploited species. The mismatch between genetic population structure and the current management units found for six species (Gadus morhua, Melanogrammus aeglefinus, Merlangius merlangus, Micromesistius poutassou, Merluccius merluccius and Clupea harengus), emphasizes the need for a revision of these units and questions the appropriateness of current management measures. The implementation of complex and dynamic population structures into novel and less static management procedures should be a primary task for future fisheries management approaches.

Salomon, M. 2009. Recent European initiatives in marine protection policy: towards lasting protection for Europe's seas? Environmental Science & Policy 12(3): 359-366.

The seas and oceans are increasingly a focus of policy interest in Europe. This is mirrored in wide-ranging activities to manage and protect the marine environment, which raises the question of whether such activities go towards developing sustainable management of the seas. Sustainable management calls for an integrated and cross-sectoral approach in order to protect highly valuable marine biodiversity from sea- and land-based activities of all kinds. While some recent developments are fairly promising, there are still no moves on the policy agenda towards uniting all relevant European policy sectors – and particularly the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy – under the shared objective of sustainable management and protection of the marine environment and its resources.

Sanchirico, J.N., M.D. Simth and D. W. Lipton. 2008. An empirical approach to ecosystem-based fishery management. Ecological Economics 64(3): 586-596.

Marine scientists and policymakers are encouraging ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), but there is limited guidance on how to operationalize the concept. We adapt financial portfolio theory as a method for EBFM that accounts for species interdependencies, uncertainty, and sustainability constraints. Illustrating our method with routinely collected data available from the Chesapeake Bay, we demonstrate the gains from taking into account variances and covariances of gross fishing revenues in setting species total allowable catches. We find over the period from 1962–2003 that managers could have increased the revenues from fishing and reduced the variance by employing EBFM frontiers in setting catch levels.

Shertzer, K.W., M.H. Prager and E.H. Williams. 2008. A probability-based approach to setting annual catch levels. Fishery Bulletin 106 (3): 225-232.

The requirement of setting annual catch limits to prevent overfishing has been added to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 (MSRA). Because this requirement is new, a body of applied scientific practice for deriving annual catch limits and accompanying targets does not yet exist. This article demonstrates an approach to setting levels of catch that is intended to keep the probability of future overfishing at a preset low level. The proposed framework is based on stochastic projection with uncertainty in population dynamics. The framework extends common projection methodology by including uncertainty in the limit reference point and in management implementation, and by making explicit the risk of overfishing that managers consider acceptable. The approach is illustrated with application to gag (Mycteroperca microlepis), a grouper that inhabits the waters off the southeastern United States. Although devised to satisfy new legislation of the MSRA, the framework has potential application to any fishery where the management goal is to limit the risk of overfishing by controlling catch.

Siron, R., et al. 2008.  Ecosystem-based management in the Arctic Ocean: A multi-level spatial approach. Arctic 61(Supl. 1): 86-102.

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) first requires the identification of spatial units capturing the ecosystem structure and functions. To this end, the Arctic Council has adopted the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) framework. Ecosystem experts have identified 17 Arctic LMEs and mapped them for monitoring and assessment purposes. We provide an overview of their major ecological features. The ecosystem approach has also been developed nationally, with EBM initiatives undertaken as part of the national ocean policy frameworks and actions plans of the United States and Canada. A case study of the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area (LOMA) established for integrated ocean management purposes shows how Canada’s national spatial framework is being implemented at the subregional level. A comparison of this framework to the international LME that overlaps it in the Canadian waters of the Beaufort Sea demonstrates that both approaches are based on the same principles and criteria, and aim at the same goal: giving primary consideration to the marine ecosystem when managing activities. The two approaches are complementary because they are applied at different spatial and governance levels: regional (Arctic-wide) and subregional (in Canadian Arctic waters). A multi-level spatial framework, science-based management tools, and a governance structure are now available to managers in the Beaufort Sea pilot region; now managers must put in the effort needed to make EBM operational and address the complex environmental issues facing the Arctic.

Smith, M.D., J.N. Sanchirico and J.E. Wilen. 2009. The economics of spatial-dynamic processes: Applications to renewable resources. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 57(1): 104-121.

Spatial-dynamic processes in renewable resource economics pose difficult conceptual, analytical, empirical, and institutional challenges that are distinct from either spatial or dynamic problems. We describe the challenges and conceptual approaches using both continuous and discrete depictions of space and summarize key findings. Using a metapopulation model of the fishery and simulated economic and ecological data, we show that it is possible in certain circumstances to recover both biological and economic parameters of a linked spatial-dynamic system from only economic data. We illustrate the application empirically with data from the Gulf of Mexico reef-fish fishery. We conclude with a discussion of key policy and institutional design issues involved in managing spatial-dynamic systems.

Smith, V.H. and D.W. Schindler. 2009. Eutrophication science: where do we go from here? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24(4): 201-207.

Cultural eutrophication has become the primary water quality issue for most of the freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems in the world. However, despite extensive research during the past four to five decades, many key questions in eutrophication science remain unanswered. Much is yet to be understood concerning the interactions that can occur between nutrients and ecosystem stability: whether they are stable or not, alternate states pose important complexities for the management of aquatic resources. Evidence is also mounting rapidly that nutrients strongly influence the fate and effects of other non-nutrient contaminants, including pathogens. In addition, it will be important to resolve ongoing debates about the optimal design of nutrient loading controls as a water quality management strategy for estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems.

Stokke, O.S. 2009. Trade measures and the combat of IUU fishing: Institutional interplay and effective governance in the Northeast Atlantic. Marine Policy 33(2): 339-349.

The use of trade measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Northeast Atlantic has evolved from unilateral denial of the landing of fish taken outside international quota arrangements to a multilateral Scheme of Control and Enforcement under the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). International trade rules have not constrained this development, mostly due to successful management of the interplay between international resource management and trade regimes. States protect resource management objectives from such constraint by inserting clauses that establish a normative hierarchy, or they employ various means for adapting IUU measures to the ‘environmental window’ of the global trade regime. The fact that regional states have introduced trade restrictions only when non-restrictive or less restrictive measures have failed enhances such compatibility, as do the gradual shift from unilateral to multilateral measures and the rise in transparency, openness and target-state involvement. None of those features reduces the effectiveness of regional trade measures; they minimize tension with trade commitments and largely strengthen their clout in the struggle to combat IUU fishing in the Northeast Atlantic.
 

Tissot, B. N., W. J. Walsh and M. A. Hixon. 2009. Hawaiian Islands marine ecosystem case study: ecosystem- and community-based management in Hawaii. Coastal Management 37(3-4): 255-273.

The Hawaiian Islands comprise a large and isolated archipelago that includes the largest reef area in the United States. Managing nearshore fisheries in this archipelago is a major challenge compounded by the difficulty of coordinating multiple agencies to provide governance across a broad series of islands with substantial social and political differences. There has been interest in, and progress toward, key elements of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in Hawaii, including a network of MPAs and community-based co-management. However, progress has been slow and largely driven by increased attention to the risks facing coral reef ecosystems, enabling both legislation and emergence of local engagement in fishery issues. Key elements of EBM in Hawaii include enhanced coordination among multiple agencies, establishment of place-based and community-based (or Hawaiian ahupua'a'-based) co-management, and acquisition of data on both the ecology of the nearshore system and the role of human impacts for use in management decisions. The development of community-based co-management and an MPA network along the western Kohala-Kona coast of the island of Hawaii (West Hawaii) illustrates a unique approach demonstrating an incremental approach toward EBM. Nonetheless, there are major challenges to scaling up the West Hawaii model to other islands within the state. These challenges include (1) the limited extent of community involvement, as well as legislative and administrative support, of community-based co-management and MPAs, (2) the complexity of conflicts that develop on more populated islands with diverse stakeholders, (3) weak enforcement of fishing regulations, and (4) whether synergy among federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the scientific community will be sustainable.

VanderZwaag, D.L. and A. Powers. 2008. The protection of the marine environment from land-based pollution and activities: Gauging the tides of global and regional governance. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 23(3): 423-452.

After providing an introductory overview of the major land-based threats to the marine environment, this article focuses upon the specific global and regional efforts to address land-based marine pollution and activities through a four-part survey. The main international initiative is first described, namely, the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). Progress in GPA implementation is next assessed with an emphasis on the documentation and results from the Second Intergovernmental Review Meeting on Implementation of the GPA held in October 2006. Major challenges constraining GPA implementation are then summarized, including limited national participation, limited financing, and limits of a non-legally binding approach. Finally, regional agreements and initiatives to counter land-based marine pollution and activities are reviewed. Progress and challenges in GPA implementation at the regional seas level are highlighted.

Walker, B. et al. 2009. Looming Global-Scale Failures and Missing Institutions. Science 325(5946): 1345-1346.

Energy, food, and water crises; climate disruption; declining fisheries; increasing ocean acidification; emerging diseases; and increasing antibiotic resistance are examples of serious, intertwined global-scale challenges spawned by the accelerating scale of human activity. They are outpacing the development of institutions to deal with them and their many interactive effects. The core of the problem is inducing cooperation in situations where individuals and nations will collectively gain if all cooperate, but each faces the temptation to take a free ride on the cooperation of others. The nation-state achieves cooperation by the exercise of sovereign power within its boundaries. The difficulty to date is that transnational institutions provide, at best, only partial solutions, and implementation of even these solutions can be undermined by internation competition and recalcitrance.

Walters, C.J. et al. 2005. Possible ecosystem impacts of applying MSY policies from single-species assessment. ICES Journal of Marine Science 62(3): 558-568.

Ecosim models have been fitted to time-series data for a wide variety of ecosystems for which there are long-term data that confirm the models' ability to reproduce past responses of many species to harvesting. We subject these model ecosystems to a variety of harvest policies, including options based on harvesting each species at its maximum sustainable yield (MSY) fishing rate. We show that widespread application of single-species MSY policies would in general cause severe deterioration in ecosystem structure, in particular the loss of top predator species. This supports the long-established practice in fisheries management of protecting at least some smaller "forage" species specifically for their value in supporting larger piscivores.

Yamazaki, A., T. Kompas and R.Q. Graftons. 2009. Output versus input controls under uncertainty: the case of a fishery. Natural Resource Modeling 22(2): 212-236.

The paper compares the management outcomes with a total allowable catch (TAC) and a total allowable effort (TAE) in a fishery under uncertainty. Using a dynamic programming model with multiple uncertainties and estimated growth, harvest, and effort functions from one of the world's largest fisheries, the relative economic and biological benefits of a TAC and TAE are compared and contrasted in a stochastic environment. This approach provides a decision and modeling framework to compare instruments and achieve desired management goals. A key finding is that neither instrument is always preferred in a world of uncertainty and that regulator's risk aversion and weighting in terms of expected net profits and biomass, and the trade-offs in terms of expected values and variance determine instrument choice.

 

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