, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 201-233
Date: 27 Jun 2007

Fisheries management in practice: review of 13 commercially important fish stocks

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This paper comparatively reviews several commercially important fish stocks, their state and their management in various regions of the world including Japanese anchovy, Bay of Biscay anchovy, North Sea sandeel, North Sea herring, Icelandic cod, Barents Sea cod, South African cape hakes, sockeye salmon, chinook salmon, southern bluefin tuna, Pacific halibut, Greenland halibut and Patagonian toothfish. The reviewed fish stocks are systemized in three categories: (1) stock properties and status; (2) management structure and objectives; and (3) management advice. We gather evidence to outline qualities of management regimes that are recommended and highlight those that most often fail. Robust management, biological limits (reference points), implementation and consensus are critical points that separate successful and unsuccessful management regimes. We evaluate each fish stock’s management performance relative to its management objectives and current conservation issues. Furthermore, we point out the importance of stakeholder involvement in fisheries management as well as the problems that international fisheries commissions face through examples from the case studies. Management successes tended to be single-nation and single-stock fisheries with capacity control and clear stakeholder involvement. Fisheries with fleet overcapacity, unclear objectives and illegal activity characterized the case studies with management problems.