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Precautionary approach to fishery management



Precautionary approach to fishery management

Precautionary approach to fishery management



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Precautionary approach to fishery management Precautionary approach to fishery management Presentation Transcript

  • PRECAUTION: “An action taken in advance to protect againstpossible danger or failure; a safeguard. Caution practised inadvance. Fore thought or circumspection” (Houghton Miflin,1992). Action taken in advance of scientific certainty but withinthe bounds of scientific uncertainty, to avoid or minimize negativeimpact, taking into account the potential consequences of beingwrong (Turner, ORiordan and Kemp, 1991).APPROACH: “A way and means of reaching something. The method used indealing with or accomplishing something” (Houghton Mifflin Co.,1992).
  • “Is a set of agreed cost-effective measures and actions, includingfuture courses of action, which ensures prudent foresight, reducesor avoids risk to the resources, the environment, and the people, tothe extent possible, taking explicitly into account existinguncertainties and the potential consequences of being wrong.”FAO The precautionary approach gives due concern to long-term effects in the specification of management objectives and in the development of management frameworks, procedures & measures (FAO)
  •  Precautionary approach widely used in conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources in order to protect them and preserve the aquatic environment. More specifically , it aims at helping decision-makers and regulators to take a safeguarding decision, when the scientific work is inconclusive but a course of action has to be chosen.
  • Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration of the UN Conference on Environment andDevelopment (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) which states that "In order to protect theenvironment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States accordingto their capabilities".1995 FAO International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which prescribea precautionary approach to all fisheries, in all aquatic systems, and regardless of theirjurisdictional nature, recognizing that most problems affecting fisheries result frominsufficiency of precaution in management regimes when faced with the high levels ofuncertainty encountered in fisheries.1995 United Nations Fish Stock Agreement which developed a consensus on theneed to introduce or strengthen the precautionary approach to fishery management,imbedding the concept in the draft text of its outcome, and outlining elements for itsimplementation.
  • Technical guidelines of Precautionary Approach by FAO……FAO also developed, in collaboration with Sweden, technical guidelines for theprecautionary approach to capture fisheries and species introduction :•all fishing activities have significant impacts;•fisheries impacts are not negligible unless proved otherwise;•the complex and changing fishery system will never be perfectlyunderstood;•scientific advice for management is therefore always affected byuncertainty;•management decision processes and sectors compliance add theirown uncertainties;•impacts of fisheries on the system are therefore difficult to predictaccurately;•consequences of management errors may be only slowly reversible;
  • - OF PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH• potentially irreversible changes be avoided.• undesirable outcomes be anticipated, and measures taken to reduce their likelihood;• corrective measures be applied immediately and become effective within an acceptable time frame;• priority be given to conserving the productive capacity of the resource;• precautionary limits be put on fishing capacity when resource productivity is highly uncertain;• all fishing activities be subjected to prior authorization and periodic review;
  • - of PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH•Sustaining fisheries harvesting and processing activities based on specified and identifiable marine ecosystems;•Ensuring the long-term viability of the resource which supports these activities;•Catering for the well-being of a fishery workforce within a wider community and broader economic context;•Maintaining the health and integrity of marine ecosystems for the benefit of other uses and users including biodiversity, scientific interest, intrinsic value, tropic structure and other economic uses such as tourism and recreation. it theoretically aims at sustainability, conventional fishery managementaddresses primarily, and rather inefficiently, the issue of inter-generational equity andallocation of resources between present users.
  • SELECTING INDICATORS AND THEIR REFERENC E POINTSprecautionary approach, representations (e.g.indicators and reference points) are also used inthe sustainable development referencesystems (SDRS) proposed by FAO for fisheriesReference points: “A reference point is anestimated value derived from an agreed scientificprocedure and an agreed model to whichcorresponds a state of the resource and of thefishery and which can be used as a guide forfisheries management”
  • Blimit: a limit reference point indicating the lowestlevel of biomass compatible with sustainabilityof the resource;Btarget: a target reference point indicating the levelof biomass considered appropriate for thefishery and aimed at by management. Example of Biomass indicator and reference point (Source: indicators for sustainable development of marine capture fisheries)
  • • Indicator: Indicators are used to determine how well these objectives are being pursued and whether the broader goals of sustainable development are being achieved.At the fishery level, indicators provide an operational tool infisheries management, as a bridge between objectives andmanagement action.the purpose of indicators is to enhance communication,transparency, effectiveness and accountability in naturalresource management.They describe in simple terms the extent to which the objectivesset for sustainable development are being achieved.it can support effective decision making and policy setting atevery stage of the decision-making cycle.
  • INDICATORS FOR THE MAIN DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT DIMENSION INDICATORECONOMIC Harvest and harvest value Fisheries contribution to GDP Income Value of fisheries exports (compared with value of total exports) Investment in fishing fleets and processing facilitiesECOLOGICA Catch structureL Relative abundance of target species Exploitation rate Direct effects of fishing gear on non-target species Indirect effects of fishing: trophic structure3 Direct effects of gear on habitats Change in area and quality of important or critical habitats
  • Contd…. Indicators provide information in two complementary ways: First, they provide information about activity at a given scale. Second, the information provided for a unit of activity at one scale allows this activity to be Considered in relation to other (higher or lower) scales of activity.
  • Merging both concepts• The precautionary approach is based on the critical components of the fishery system that is spawning stock size, fishing pressure, critical habitats• It also requires determination of the related target, limit and threshold reference points•As a consequence, recent developments in fisheries have led to amerging of the concepts related to indicators of sustainabledevelopment with those related to the precautionary approach
  • Contd…..
  • Contd….. In above Figure, the precautionary approach, as it is currently applied, is essentially based on biological considerations. Despite this shortcoming, the approach can be very useful for comparative purposes, as it allows many stocks to be represented on a single graph.
  • ADOPTED FISHERY BODIES• CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources)• International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC),• the International Whaling Commission (IWC),• NAFO• the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO),• ICCAT• the Multilateral High-Level Conference on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific and• the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO).• The implementation of the approach is actively discussed in others, including the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC), the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM).• The approach has also been indirectly applied by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in relation to the southern bluefin tuna cases. It is also advancing rapidly in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
  •  MANAGEMENT according to the PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH exercises prudent foresight to avoid unacceptable or undesirable situations. Precautionary management involves explicit consideration of undesirable and potentially Unacceptable outcomes and provides contingency and other plans to avoid or mitigate Such outcomes. Unacceptable outcomes include overexploitation of Resources, overdevelopment of harvesting capacity, loss of biodiversity, major physical Disturbances of sensitive biotopes, or social or economic dislocations.
  •  The precautionary approach is included in all stages of the management process. Thus, precaution should be identifiable in the different stages of management, from PLANNING THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION, ENFORCEMENT and MONITORING TO RE-EVALUATION.
  •  To managing a fishery involves developing, explicit consideration of precautionary actions that will be taken to avoid specific undesirable outcomes. a management plan should include mechanisms to monitor and control that capacity. For all fisheries, plans should be developed or revised to incorporate precautionary elements. The plans should consider time scales of at least two to three decades, or longer in the case of long-lived species.
  • Process of Management PlanningSPECIFYING management OBJECTIVES : The first step is to identify the broad management objectives to be achieved The management objectives need to consider both the manner in which the benefits from the fishery are to be realized, as well as the possible undesirable outcomes which are to be avoided. Broad objectives include considerations of long-term interests and the avoidance of irreversible or slowly reversible changes.
  • Specifying operational targets and constraints : Targets identify the desired outcomes for the fishery. The operational constraints explicitly define the undesirable outcomes that are to be avoided. Operational targets and constraints should be expressed in measurable terms such as Target reference points and limit reference points (refer to FAO documents).Prospective evaluation : A precautionary approach requires that the feasibility and reliability of the management options be evaluated. A management plan should not be accepted until it has been shown to perform effectively in terms of its ability to avoid undesirable outcomes.
  •  For small fisheries and artisanal fisheries, computationally intensive management analyses are often not possible or cost-effective. In such cases, management measures will probably not depend on quantitative analyses, but rather on assessing the practicality of ensuring that the precautionary measures are accepted and observed by the fishing community.
  • Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement
  •  Management plan implementation puts in place all planned decision rules. This involves the practical interpretation of objectives and procedures, and the implementation of detailed instructions for compliance, monitoring of the fishery, and enforcement tactics. Implementation Phase Elements are : stock assessments, (1) rule setting, (4) Economic assessments,(2) communication of decisions,(3) rationale to the public and fishing industry(5)
  •  Monitoring of a fishery involves collection of all information relevant to ensuring that the plan is being executed and that it is achieving the desired results. In particular, data are needed to determine whether that precautionary decision rules are being violated. A precautionary approach to monitoring will use many and various sources of information, including environmental and socio-economic data. Precautionary monitoring of fishing should seek to detect and observe a variety of ancillary impacts, e.g., environmental changes, fish habitat degradation, and effects on birds, mammals and other biota
  • Re-evaluation of Management Systems
  • The level of precaution in the management system needs to be re- assessed periodically.This includes:(1) the degree of precaution in the objectives, operational targets and constraints in relation to observed changes in the fishery and the environment,(2) the use of scientific information and other information in the management process,(3) the applicability of the contingency plans for unexpected conditions,
  • There are several PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES that fisheriesmanagement agencies should take in order to avoid undesirableor unacceptable outcomes in the development of fisheries.Some of these will apply to all types of fisheries, whereas otherswill be useful only in specific situations.•For illustrative purposes, we list precautionary measures for fourtypical situations: (1) New or developing fisheries; (2) over utilized fisheries; (3) Fully utilized fisheries; (4) Traditional or artisanal Fisheries;
  • New or developing fisheriesa. always control access to the fishery early, before problems appear. An open Access fishery is not precautionary;b. immediately put a conservative cap (or default level) on both fishing capacity and the total fishing mortality rate. It should remain in place until analyses of data justify an increase in fishing effort or fishing mortality;c. To avoid new investments in fishing capacity, temporarily license vessels from an other fishery;d. Use AREA CLOSURES for limit risks to the resources and the environment. So it will protect the fish stock and the habitat;e. encourage development of fisheries that are economically viable without long-term subsidies;f. establish a data collection and reporting system for new fisheries early in their development;g. immediately start a research programme on the stock and fisheries,
  • h. When issuing a fishing license, require a vessel to report detailed information, including standard biological data and economic information.Over utilized fisheriesMost of the above recommendations also apply to fish stocks thatare already over utilized, but in addition, special precautionarymeasures need to be taken for such stocks. These are:a. immediately limit access to the fishery and put a cap on a further increase in fishing capacity and fishing mortality rate;b. establish a recovery plan that will rebuild the stock over a specific time period with reasonable certainty;c. reduce fishing mortality rates long enough to allow rebuilding of the spawning stock.
  • d. Remove excessive fishing capacity from the fishery; do not provide subsidies or tax incentives to maintain fishing capacity;e. in the management plan, establish biological reference points to define recovery, using measures of stock status;f. for species where it is possible, closely monitor the productivity and total area of required habitat to provide another indicator of when management action is needed Fully utilized fisheriesThese are fisheries that are heavily harvested but not yetoverexploited. Regulatory agencies must watch for signs that thepopulation is becoming overexploited. While some precautionarymeasures from the above lists apply here, additional measures totake in this situation are:
  • a. ensure that there are means to effectively keep fishing mortality rate and fishing capacity at the existing level;b. there are many “early-warning signs” that a stock is becoming overutilized. These warning signs should trigger investigative action according to prespecified procedures while interim management actions are taken, as noted below;c. when limit reference points are approached closely, presecified measures should be taken immediately to ensure that they will not be exceeded (i.e., do not wait until violation of a limit point is imminent to start deciding what to do about it);d. if limit reference points are exceeded, recovery plans should be implemented immediately to restore the stock;e. to prevent excessively reducing the reproductive capacity of a population, avoid harvesting immature fish, unless there is strong protection of the spawning stock. For ex: if immature fish exceed a specified percentage of the catch, close the local area to all harvesting.
  • Traditional or artisanal fisheriesThese are low-technology fisheries carried out by large numbersof small vessels, often where there is no central managementagency. Again, many of the recommendations above apply tothese fisheries. The following precautionary steps are :a. keep some areas closed to fishing in order to obtain the benefits noted above as item; Also ensure that excessive fishing effort does not develop in the open areas;b. delegate some of the decision-making, especially area closures and entry limitations, to local communities or cooperatives;c. investigate the factors that influence the behaviour of harvesters to develop approaches that can control fishing intensity. For example, improving incomes of individual harvesters may reduce pressure on resources.