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Improving management and governance of small-scale fisheries

Fishermen, community people and WorldFish officials holding a meeting in Somanodi jalmahal, Bangladesh

Fisheries management in recent decades has tended to focus heavily on maximization of yield at the expense of broader socioeconomic issues that also need to be addressed. Also little recognized are forces outside the fishery sector that may pose a threat or present new opportunities. New approaches are needed that promote more flexible management of small-scale fisheries in the face of changing circumstances. Doing this will require innovation and development on a case-by-case basis, through “learning by doing.” But the resulting lessons from this and other experience in natural resource management can be synthesized and adapted for application in other settings and at larger scales. Projected outputs include:

Small-scale fisheries management lessons to guide policies and implement effective approaches more widely

  • participatory methods to develop sustainability indicators

  • management options for better governance, incorporating stakeholder assessment

  • testing of global database on ecological, social and economic attributes of small-scale fisheries

  • participatory trans-boundary management plans for targeted river systems

  • identification of measures for restoration of indigenous stock

  • lessons from coral reef management studies

  • analysis of effectiveness of marine-protected areas

Testing of management interventions for range of socio-ecological settings in targeted countries

  • assessment of sanctuaries and restocking as measures to improve fisheries

  • co-management approaches and mechanisms for integrated fish and crop production

  • assessment of management approaches for fisheries and wetlands

  • assessment of livelihood diversification aimed at reducing pressure on wild fisheries

  • incorporation of guidelines for adaptive management of small-scale fisheries into national and regional fisheries policies

Improved analysis of rights and livelihood interests of fishing households in non-sectoral development policy

  • analysis and advice on incorporating inland fisheries into national and regional policies for greater food security in targeted countries

  • review of human rights in relation to management of small-scale fisheries, with related global symposium

  • analysis of how benefits from improved floodplain fisheries are distributed

  • assessment of policy-based decisions for upstream development of water resources