Europe’s move to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management could benefit from adopting practices used in New Zealand for strengthening industry involvement.
This is the key conclusion from a scientific paper by Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association Chief Scientist, Dr Steven Mackinson, and David Middleton, Chief Executive Officer of Trident Systems – an industry limited partnership providing research services to New Zealand’s fisheries.
Published in Marine Policy, the paper describes how processes and behaviours from New Zealand could alleviate European bottlenecks related to inadequate governance and barriers to involving stakeholders in the acquisition and application of relevant knowledge.
“The short pathways, fewer people and simplicity of a unilateral decision-making process make New Zealand a good place to learn about the inclusive governance of fisheries,” says Dr Mackinson.
“For example, there is still considerable scope in Europe for making much greater use of research knowledge from industry and science-industry partnerships.”
Other specific ways where Europe could learn from New Zealand are having better defined ‘rules of engagement’ and a shared vision between fishermen and governments of fishery management goals and how to achieve them.
The authors state: “These elements share several vital hallmarks, which provide clues to their success: they are open and transparent; they provide conditions for industry innovation and initiative; they create and promote participation in ways that empower stakeholders, and foster responsibility and buy-in. “
Figure. How inclusivity issues and their consequences impact the gathering and use of evidence in management, causing bottlenecks in the implementation of EAFM.