Ecosystem Health in the Context of Fisheries and Aquaculture – A Governability Challenge

  • José J. Pascual-Fernández
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 7)


The importance of marine and ocean ecosystems to the livelihoods and wellbeing of fishing and coastal communities around the world is well recognized. Global efforts have been made to prevent these ecosystems from deteriorating, but the challenges are huge, with ongoing pressures and stresses driven largely by a wide range of human activities. In this chapter, we first employ the governability concept to examine these stressors in terms of their diversity, complexity, dynamics and scales in relation to the natural and social systems-to-be-governed, the governing systems and the governing interactions. Recognizing that the health of the ecosystem is an outcome of governing efforts and interactions between governing institutions and social actors, we apply the governability perspective to assess factors affecting the ability of the social system-to-be-governed and the governing system to cope with the present state of the marine and ocean ecosystems, and draw policy implications based on that analysis.


Human ecosystems Ecosystem health Fisheries Coastal zone Aquaculture Global warming Governability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • José J. Pascual-Fernández
    • 1
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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