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Ecosystem approach to fisheries: a review of implementation guidelines

by S Garcia, K Cochrane
ICES Journal of Marine Science ()


The FAO and other guidelines available for the implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries are briefly reviewed. The paper recalls the high-level policy foundations and the main issues, related to fisheries and non-fishing impacts as well as to natural variability. It reviews the central paradigm and the extension of the conventional management required to better account for ecosystem considerations. It focuses on the policy, strategy development, and implementation processes required to adapt the fuzzy principles and conceptual goals to the reality of specific situations, addressing briefly the central issues of capacity-building, management costs, realistic time frames, and the role of science, and concludes with comments on the respective roles of the various types of stakeholders.

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