Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 201–233 | Cite as

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

  • Dorothy J. DankelEmail author
  • Dankert W. Skagen
  • Øyvind Ulltang
Research Paper


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.


Commercial fishing Fisheries management Fisheries regulations Fish stocks Harvest control rules 



We acknowledge Asgeir Aglen, Kjell Nedreaas, Thorbjørn Thorvik and Svein Iversen for their helpful personal interviews. Thank you to our phone interviewees: Paul Salomone, Will Beattie and Gunnar Stefansson. We thank the following people for important e-mail contact: Rebecca Rademeyer, Henrik Jensen, Andy Bodsworth, Brian Healey, Bill Clark, Edward Ho-Shon and Peter Shelton. Thanks also to Alf Håkon Hoel for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and to the Norwegian Research Council for funding this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy J. Dankel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dankert W. Skagen
    • 1
  • Øyvind Ulltang
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ResearchHavforskningsinstituttetBergenNorway
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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