The OECD Handbook for Fisheries Managers

The OECD Handbook for Fisheries Managers

Principles and Practice for Policy Design You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
08 Oct 2013
Pages :
104
ISBN :
9789264191150 (PDF) ; 9789264180833 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264191150-en

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The Fisheries Manager's Handbook is a compilation of OECD work designed to aid policy makers develop and implement good policies and management tools in fisheries.  Drawing upon years of OECD research, it demonstrates how an open policy design process with clear objectives, using market-based instruments and focussed on effective stock management can benefit all those involved in or concerned about the fisheries sector.  Of interest not only to policy makers, it will provides a useful guide to NGOs and other interested parties on the principles and processes of good policy design.

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    Foreword

    The fisheries sector faces multiple challenges. Despite significant progress a considerable share of global fish stocks remain depleted or overfished and overcapacity is endemic to many fisheries. Policy makers and fishers are increasingly aware that action is needed. But the road to a sustainable fisheries sector is not an easy one. To get there, fisheries managers must challenge preconceived notions and embrace new ideas and engage stakeholders more broadly. Short-term questions of employment and profits of fishers must be carefully balanced against longer term sustainability. To do anything else is to court disaster: collapsed fisheries, empty harbours, and permanent crisis.

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    Acronyms
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    Executive summary

    Once concerned mainly with devising efficient means and methods to catch more fish and share the seas’ abundance, the science of fisheries management now involves better  managing finite fish resources while adressing the sector’s impacts on the environment, as well as on other users and interests. Also high on the agenda, consumers are increasingly concerned with the sustainability of the fish products they purchase.

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    Introduction to fisheries management

    This chapter introduces the concept of fisheries management, discusses the role of the fisheries manager, and highlights some of the elements of successful fisheries management. It emphasises the importance of good policy design and sets the stage for the subsequent chapters that address specific issues in fisheries management.

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    The economics of fisheries management

    When fisheries management systems are designed with an understanding of how they will shape economic incentives the result is usually a more efficient and effective system with improved co‑operation by all involved. This chapter will discuss several areas where economic theory and fisheries management overlap.Fisheries management is a response to the tendency of unregulated fisheries to be overused and depleted. That tendency has its roots in the economic incentives faced by fishers using what is in essence a shared resource. Different approaches to management will influence the actions taken by fishers in terms of how the resource is exploited, the nature of the fishing fleet and much more.

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    Dealing with capacity issues in fisheries

    This chapter addresses the issue of overcapacity of fishing fleets. Too many boats chasing too few fish is an evocative quote but the economics of capacity are more complex. This chapter describes the difference between technical and economic overcapacity, showing how one is a normal and expected feature of fishing fleets while the other is a consequence of poor policy design. The chapter prescribes some solutions to capacity issues in the context of a well-functioning management system.

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    Market mechanisms to manage fisheries

    This chapter highlights the usefulness of market approaches in reaching policy objectives. Policies that ignore or oppose market forces tend to deliver unexpected side effects stemming from the decisions and actions of those they affect. On the other hand, policies that take advantage of the ability of markets to allocate resources can increase the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of a fishery.

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    Rebuilding fisheries

    This chapter highlights the benefits and challenges in rebuilding fisheries. It starts by discussing the motivations for rebuilding followed by an overview and comparison of different approaches across fisheries and over time. It also covers several challenges related to uncertainty and risks in rebuilding.

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    The human dimension of fisheries reform

    This chapter describes some of the social factors in fisheries management. Reaching consensus on reform and dealing with its consequences are a necessary part of enabling sustainable change. Fisheries managers have a number of tools at their disposal to help with adjustment and compensate those affected by reform. Pragmatic approaches to the human dimension of fisheries reform are best.

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    Policy coherence for development

    With so many government objectives depending at least in part on the performance of the fisheries sector, the degree to which different objectives and policies are compatible will determine success in achieving sustainable development goals worldwide, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the vision of the OECD Development Strategy. For OECD countries, the challenge is to align development assistance objectives with fisheries policies such as trade, access agreements, capacity building provisions, joint management of fish resources (e.g. straddling or high seas stocks and RFMOs) and development assistance directed at aquaculture and fisheries.

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    Fisheries managers' response to private certification

    This chapter focuses on the role of fisheries managers and other authorities with regard to private eco-labelling and looks at possible responses. NGOs can see food labels as an opportunity to promote their particular agendas, and may seek to influence their content. As certification and eco-labels become more prominent in the marketplace, determining the appropriate role of fisheries managers and public regulators becomes more challenging and strategic.

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    Fish Handbook glossary
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