Chapter 16: Sustainability of Fisheries
Chapter 16 Sustainability of Fisheries Graham Pierce, Cristina Pita, Begoña Santos, Sónia Seixas Abstract This chapter reviews the concept of sustainability in fisheries, focussing on fisheries in Europe and paying particular attention to the human dimensions of fisheries. The particular problems presented by fisheries (related to the “Tragedy of the Com- mons”) are introduced, followed by brief accounts of the importance of fisheries worldwide and of their history in Europe. We attempt to summarize the concepts embodied in fisheries management and governance and review the different dimensions (pillars) of sustainability in the context of fisheries: environmental, economic, social and institutional. We describe some current developments in management and governance of European fisheries, including the introduction of property rights, the role of ecological labelling and the concept of demand-led management, participation and co-management, marine protected areas and Integrated Marine Management. We advocate a system of governance under which more emphasis is placed on achieving the possible than in quantifying the unachievable, a system which delivers successful implementation of sustainability objectives based on holistic (and multidisciplinary) assessments of environmental, economic and social-cultural consequences of proposed actions and which is based on the full and active participation of all relevant stakeholders. Introduction In contrast to the terrestrial environment, provision of food from the sea remains largely based on what is effectively a hunter-gatherer system, albeit an increasing technologically sophisticated one. Unregulated marine fisheries provide a para- digmatic example of the “Tragedy of the Commons” (Hardin 1968), whereby indi- vidual fishers do...
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