Ocean Equity Research

Developing an Equitable and Ecosystem-Based Approach to Fisheries Management

Publication Details

R. Davis & Q. Hanich. Developing an Equitable and Ecosystem Based Approach to Fisheries Management, in H. Scheiber, J. Kraska & M.S. Kwon (eds) Science, Technology, and New Challenges to Ocean Law and Policy. The Hague: Brill, 2015. Pp124-148.


Much of the current literature on ecosystem based approaches to fisheries management
focuses on the ecosystem impacts of fishing activities, and requirements to develop
management plans that look beyond just target stocks. While this narrow interpretation
is appropriate for fisheries with a limited diversity of stakeholder interests, particularly
in isolated regions such as Antarctica, it requires a far more holistic approach in multi-
species or multi-gear fisheries which feature a diverse range of socio-economic interests
from both developed and developing states requiring a far more holistic approach. In
such cases, for example the Pacific island tuna fisheries, it is important to consider management priorities—both in terms of target stocks and their broader ecosystem—and
the varying distribution of the conservation burden and benefits among communities in
developed and developing states. This paper outlines the legal and policy framework for
the equitable distribution of the conservation burden and benefits within the context of
ecosystem based approaches to fisheries management, using the Western and Central
Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Commission for the Conservation of
Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as contrasting case studies.

Original Article Link