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Proper fisheries management is essential

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Fisheries management and development entails a complex and wide-embracing set of tasks, aimed at ensuring that the optimal benefits are obtained for the local users, State or region from the sustainable utilization of the living aquatic resources to which they have access.{{more}}

While fisheries management draws on fisheries research and analysis and, sometimes, institutionalised processes for the elaboration of advice, it should not be confused with them; it encompasses but goes beyond them. Fisheries management can be taken to include the following:

(1) Setting policies and objectives for each fishery or stock to be managed, taking into account the biological characteristics of the stock, the nature of existing or potential fisheries and other activities related to or impacting the stock and the potential economic and social contribution of the fishery to national or local needs and goals.

(2) Determining and implementing the actions necessary to enable the management authorities, the fishers and other interest groups, to work towards the identified objectives. This task should be done in consultation with all interest groups. The actions required will include: developing and implementing management plans for all managed stocks; ensuring that the stock or stocks, the ecosystems in which they occur and their environment are maintained in a productive state,; collecting and analysing the biological and fishery data necessary for assessment, monitoring, control and surveillance; adoption and promulgation of appropriate and effective laws and regulations necessary to achieve the objectives, and ensuring that fishers comply with them to achieve the objectives.

(3) Consulting and negotiating with users or interest groups concerned with resources and from areas not directly related to fishery activities but which impact on fisheries. Examples would include groups engaged in activities in a river or lake basin or the coastal zone which impact on fisheries. The management authority needs to ensure that the interests of fisheries are appropriately considered and catered for in planning and integration of such activities.

(4) In consultation with users, regularly reviewing the management objectives and measures to ensure they are still appropriate and effective.

(5) Reporting to Governments, users and the public on the state of resources and management performance.

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