Ecocertification: An incentive for dealing effectively with uncertainty, risk, and burden of proof in fisheries

  • Peterman R
  • 24


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 6


    Citations of this article.


Large uncertainties that prevail in fisheries create widely recognized biological, eco- nomic, and social risks. These risks have spurred development of various methods for dealing with uncertainties, including the ‘Precautionary Approach’ of the Food and Agri- culture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). However, management agencies still need to implement such approaches more widely, and harvesters must comply more fully with regulations in order to reduce implementation error (the difference between desired and actual consequences of management regulations). Perhaps one way to meet these needs is to establish criteria for ecocertifying specific fisheries, i.e., those in which both management and harvesting practices are expected to maintain biologically and eco- nomically productive fish stocks over the long term. Consumers’ preferences for ecolabeled products would help align industry’s goals with those of management agencies. The threat of losing certification would create incentives for appropriate levels of precaution in agencies’ regulations and industry’s compliance with them. Ecolabeling initiatives will be aided by recent developments in ‘sustainability indicators’ and scientifically rigorous performance measures for evaluating them. Particular types of ecolabeling (e.g., volun- tary certification combined with consumer education programs) may create appropriate incentives for agencies and industry while avoiding negative reactions by the World Trade Organization to the resulting changes in trade.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

  • PMID: 480
  • PUI: 34923275
  • ISBN: 0007-4977
  • ISSN: 00074977
  • SGR: 0036492078
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0036492078


  • Randall M. Peterman

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free