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Fish for Life

Fish for Life: Interactive Governance for Fisheries

Jan Kooiman
Maarten Bavinck
Svein Jentoft
Roger Pullin
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Fish for Life
    Book Description:

    One billion people around the world rely upon fish as their primary-and in many cases, their only-source of protein. At the same time, increasing demand from wealthier populations in the U.S. and Europe encourages dangerous overfishing practices along coastal waters. Fish for Life addresses the problem of overfishing at local, national, and global levels as part of a comprehensive governance approach-one that acknowledges the critical intersection of food security, environmental protection, and international law in fishing practices throughout the world. Third publication in the "">MARE Publication Series This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0532-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)

    • 1 The Governance Perspective
      (pp. 11-24)
      Jan Kooiman and Maarten Bavinck

      Capture fisheries are in crisis. Documents and figures on the state of global fisheries that have appeared since the 1990s point out a strongly negative trend, with three related components. The first is the decline or collapse of fish stocks, the world over. The degradation of aquatic ecosystems is reflected in the levelling off of the total world catch in the 1990s (FAO 2002a), and in the declining catches of individual fishers. The second component of crisis is fishing overcapacity. There are simply too many vessels and too many people fishing. Their aggregate activity is the main cause of the...

    • 2 Challenges and Concerns in Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture
      (pp. 25-38)
      Ratana Chuenpagdee, Poul Degnbol, Maarten Bavinck, Svein Jentoft, Derek Johnson, Roger Pullin and Stella Williams

      Fish, taken here to mean all living aquatic products harvested by humans, are a critical source of protein, lipids and micro-nutrients in people’s diets in the North and South alike. Fish are often part of the staple diet in developing and less-developed countries, and consumption of fish in developed countries has increased with its heavy promotion as healthy food and upmarket food sources. Global concerns about fish harvests, fish stocks, and the health of aquatic ecosystems are directly related to the increasing demand for fish as food and to the potentially short supply, due largely to overfishing and unsustainable fishing...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 41-44)
      Andy Thorpe, Derek Johnson and Maarten Bavinck

      The challenge for fisheries governance is to resolve, as effectively and equitably as possible, the conflicts that result from seeking to simultaneously pursue the goals of maintaining a healthy ecosystem whilst continuing to derive social benefits from it. Social benefits from the ecosystem include the preservation of sustainable livelihoods and social justice for those associated with the sector, and meeting income and food security requirements for the wider community. A basic requirement for resolving conflicts over the use of aquatic ecosystems is understanding the context in which they are played out. This part of the volume concerns the aspect of...

    • 3 Aquatic Ecologies
      (pp. 45-70)
      Michel Kulbicki

      The ecology of fish resources is part of a larger picture defined as the fish chain. Diversity is at the base of most ecological processes involving resources and its alteration is viewed as a major source of large ecological and societal changes (Chapin et al. 2000). In addition, diversity is easy to define and conceptualise and is probably the best-studied ecological variable. Differences in the diversity of exploited species are extremely important, for example, the approximately thirty species commonly exploited in the Northeast Atlantic as compared with well over two hundred species in the tropical Western Pacific. Consequences may be...

    • 4 Fish Capture
      (pp. 71-92)
      Derek Johnson, Maarten Bavinck and Joeli Veitayaki

      Fish capture and aquaculture are the central articulating links of the fish chain, connecting consumer demand to ecosystem impact through the social organisation and technologies of resource extraction (and input, in the case of aquaculture). This chapter is concerned with the capture of wild marine resources; that which follows focuses on fish culture.

      Capture is the complex of social and technological factors that forms the immediate context for the extraction of fish and their transport to landing sites. Matching its linking position in the fish chain, fish capture is also central to fisheries governance as the set of practices that...

    • 5 Aquaculture
      (pp. 93-108)
      Roger S.V. Pullin and U. Rashid Sumaila

      Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic plants and animals (finfish, crustaceans, molluscs and other invertebrates), in fresh-, brackish, and seawater, is very diverse (Stickney 2000). Aquaculture statistics reported to the FAO from its member countries in 2000 covered 210 different species (Tacon 2003). Aquaculture systems are commonly classified according to their nutrient inputs. Extensive aquaculture involves no intentional fertilisation or feeding; e.g., the capturing of naturally settled mussels and oysters. Semi-intensive aquaculture comprises the farming of fish and invertebrates in ponds, pens and cages with supplementary fertilisation and/or feeding. Intensive aquaculture is entirely reliant on added feeds (e.g., salmon cages, eel...

    • 6 The Post-Harvest Chain
      (pp. 109-132)
      Andy Thorpe, Stella Williams and Jacques van Zyl

      The journey from trawler to table (or farm to fridge in the case of aquaculture) can be swift or extended. In many developing countries the path is usually short with the catch being sold fresh either from the quay-side or beach or in an adjacent market. However, the fish chain is extended when processing – curing, smoking, pickling, salting, drying, freezing or burying – is undertaken, although the destination of the final transformed product may remain local. Canning – preserving and protecting the product – affords additional commercial opportunities, while the despatch of fish to inland or overseas markets further...

    • 7 Links in the Fish Chain
      (pp. 133-144)
      Derek Johnson, Andy Thorpe, Maarten Bavinck and Michel Kulbicki

      As the preceding chapters of this section have demonstrated, resource regulation has not been the strong suit of fisheries. Each chapter has identified serious problems of, or challenges to, governance in the world’s fisheries: overfishing, human-induced ecosystem shifts, threats to livelihoods, pollution, over-dependence on marine sources of fish feed, and quality control. These are well-known problems that have in recent years prompted increasing recognition that fisheries governance has been inadequate to the challenge of maintaining sustainability and livelihoods in maritime areas.

      While not excusing governance failures, the preceding chapters have provided a major reason for them: the diversity, complexity, and...


    • Introduction Part III
      (pp. 147-152)
      Svein Jentoft

      The four chapters in Part III depict institutional mechanisms and challenges in fisheries at the global, national, and local level and their interconnections. Fisheries governance and food security involve institutions at all levels and require vertically and horizontally co-ordinated and structured linkages. The diversity, complexity, and dynamics of fisheries institutions provide targets that are obscure and moving. Fisheries governance is thus a never-ending process that requires institutions that are robust and flexible. What these institutions should be like is in itself an important governance issue with no easy answers. But what are institutions? What exactly do they do?

      Institutions are...

    • 8 Local Institutions
      (pp. 153-172)
      José J. Pascual-Fernández, Katia Frangoudes and Stella Williams

      There are many definitions of a community. Community studies have played an important role in the social sciences, such as anthropology, since the early twentieth century. In this sense, functionalist studies by Malinowski and Radcliffe Brown served as models for studying communities as a strategy for analysing culture as a whole. Even precursors like Tönnies with his concept of Gemeinschaft and his positivist organicism can be quoted. Culture was conceptualised as consisting of functionally interrelated parts, creating a model of analysis that was to pattern the standard in social anthropology (Redfield 1971 [1955-6]). The studies depended on a community concept...

    • 9 National Institutions
      (pp. 173-196)
      Svein Jentoft, Jan Kooiman and Ratana Chuenpagdee

      In this chapter the focus is on fisheries governance at the national level. Here the state is a key actor and will, accordingly, be an important focus in what follows. Although there is much discussion about the proper role of the state as a societal institution, even the strongest advocates of a ‘minimal’ state would not deny that the state must be the one responsible for a number of essential functions in every society. Therefore the question is not so much ‘if’ but ‘how’ the state should perform its role, in fisheries as well as in other sectors.

      We begin...

    • 10 International Institutions
      (pp. 197-216)
      Juan L. Suárez de Vivero, Juan C. Rodríguez Mateos and David Florido del Corral

      Despite the drastic changes that property rights over fisheries resources have been subject to since the creation of exclusive economic and fishing zones and despite the crisis the United Nations system is currently experiencing, international institutions still continue to exert a marked influence on national and international policies. Access to resources (United Nations convention on the Law of the Sea – UNCLOS), trade (World Trade Organization – WTO), international co-operation (the UN and regional organisations), research, technical and scientific advisory bodies, international statistics (Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO), and supra-national political organisations (EU) are only a few examples of...

    • 11 Institutional Linkages
      (pp. 217-238)
      José J. Pascual-Fernández, Svein Jentoft, Jan Kooiman and Abbie Trinidad

      In this chapter we address a variety of issues related to vertical and horizontal relationships and conflicts within the chain of fisheries governance related to fish distribution, fisheries policymaking and resource management. Diversity constitutes a central issue in this scenario, due to the multiple activities and uses developed in many coastal areas like tourism, artisanal or industrial fishing, aquaculture, or even housing. However, a typical consequence of this multiplicity of activities is a reduction in the diversity of affected ecosystems (see chap. 4). Furthermore, the relationships between these activities have originated, in the last decades, a system of increasing complexity,...


    • Introduction
      (pp. 241-244)
      Jan Kooiman

      In arguing that fisheries governance should be founded on certain basic principles, we are essentially asking for several things. We are saying fisheries governors should be obliged to make their analytical, ethical, and political convictions explicit to others as well as to themselves. When governors define the problems they think should be addressed and ascribe certain solutions to these problems, they inevitably draw on fundamental assumptions and worldviews that should be brought to the surface so they can be explained, defended, and examined.

      Do the convictions hold up to logical and ethical reasoning? We believe communication and hence the democratic...

    • 12 Current Principles
      (pp. 245-264)
      Maarten Bavinck and Ratana Chuenpagdee

      Many current debates on fisheries, food security, and safety centre on issues of policy and management. Having a practical focus, debaters rarely reflect on the norms and principles underlying their positions. It is clear, however, to a thoughtful observer that normative positions, permeate the proposed solutions and approaches, and contribute to both consensus and miscommunication alike.

      This chapter presents the principles underlying the international governance of fisheries today. The perspective is analytical rather than prescriptive, the objective being to find out what currently informs governance. In subsequent chapters, where the norms for interactive governance are highlighted, the mood becomes prescriptive....

    • 13 Meta-Principles
      (pp. 265-284)
      Jan Kooiman, Svein Jentoft, Maarten Bavinck, Ratana Chuenpagdee and U. Rashid Sumaila

      In this chapter we discuss a number of principles that we think should guide fisheries governance at the meta-, normative, level. To outline their use in a conceptual manner, we apply the governance perspective as our model. We start with principles to be applied normatively to governing elements, followed by principles by which to judge modes of governance. We then discuss principles to evaluate governing orders. In each category, we formulate a general principle derived from governance theory, and three principles for each of the three governance components derived from fisheries. This gives us a list of twelve principles as...

    • 14 Hard Choices and Values
      (pp. 285-300)
      Jan Kooiman and Svein Jentoft

      Fisheries governance is multidimensional. As pointed out in previous chapters, fisheries governors must address a number of concerns, principles, and goals that are all laudable but frequently also in conflict with one another. Resource conservation, securing jobs in the fishery, sustaining communities, feeding the poor, increasing export earnings, etc. are all worthy objectives for fisheries. However, they are not easily reconciled but confront decision-makers with dilemmas that require hard choices (Bailey and Jentoft 1990). Hard choices are always controversial and politically painful; they always come with a cost.

      In this chapter we address the question of what a choice is,...


    • 15 Challenges and Concerns Revisited
      (pp. 303-324)
      Maarten Bavinck, Ratana Chuenpagdee, Poul Degnbol and José J. Pascual-Fernández

      In chapter 2, the challenges facing fisheries and aquaculture were briefly described. The crucial issue pointed out is that the drivers for increasing fish production are ubiquitous, multifarious, and strong and that they surpass the capacity of available management systems. The result is a consistent over-demand on natural and social systems and a crisis in fisheries as well as in fisheries governance.

      We connected the drivers in fisheries to the globalisation that has been accelerating since 1950. With the sharp rise in the international demand for fish products and the growing connection between local producers and global markets, the pressure...

    • 16 Governance and Governability
      (pp. 325-350)
      Jan Kooiman and Ratana Chuenpagdee

      This entire book is based on a governance perspective. In the previous chapters, this perspective has been used to structure many ideas and findings on fisheries governance. The present chapter will try to show that experiences with governing fisheries, although still being played out in different parts of the world and in varying social and economic settings, can still be looked at in a coherent manner. This coherence can be implicitly or explicitly demonstrated in activities at the fish chain level, in the institutions supporting or limiting those activities, and in the principles guiding fisheries and its governance. It can...

    • 17 Governance in Action
      (pp. 351-374)
      Robin Mahon, Maarten Bavinck and Rathindra Nath Roy

      In this final chapter we explore what governability is for fisheries and how this can guide the ways forward. We take governability as conceived in chapter 16 as our starting point. A fisheries governor aiming to put governance into action should first examine the governability of the fishery. Then we proceed with several ideas on how to enable and enhance governability, concluding with some issues faced by fisheries governors when changing governance.

      We try to communicate a perspective of how to undertake the journey towards improving governance, rather than a road map. We urge practitioners to set out on this...

  9. References
    (pp. 375-418)
  10. List of Contributors
    (pp. 419-422)
  11. Index
    (pp. 423-427)