The community: a missing link of fisheries management
Fisheries management, as it is currently done in most countries, ignores the community level. Instead, it is almost exclusively based on a relationship between a government agency and individual users. This paper calls for a stronger emphasis on the roles that communities can play in fisheries management. Effective resource management is a necessary condition for the viability of fisheries communities, but I argue that viable communities are also an important contribution to the preservation of healthy fish stocks. Thus, before one can hope to rebuild fish stocks, one must start to rebuild communities; one cannot succeed without the other. The paper also offers some reflections on solutions and strategies, in particular on co-management as a potential community-building institution and how communities can play a supportive role in fisheries co-management.
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