Commercial fishing, conservation and compatibility in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
A critical issue in marine ecosystem-based management is addressing the compatibility of extractive use with ecosystem protection. Analysis of the protected area planning process for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands suggests the key elements of an ecosystem-based approach to protected area management include establishing a common understanding among decision makers of ecosystem boundaries and ecosystem condition, informed by the best available science. A participatory process is proposed that relies on an informed assessment of whether extractive use compromises ecological integrity and is consistent with conservation objectives. Best practices for compatibility determinations are proposed for multi-agency protected area management and planning.
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