Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Three pillars of fisheries policy

By Quentin Grafton and Tom Kompas

The causes of overfishing are reviewed along with deficiencies in top-down input-regulated fisheries management. An alternative is the three pillars of fisheries policy intended to ensure sustainable, economically viable fisheries and marine ecosystems. The first pillar are incentives that promote a long-term interest in both fisheries and marine ecosystems; the second are targets that account for the bioeconomics of fisheries; and the third, adaptive management practices, especially marine protected areas, that promote resilience against ecosystem disturbances. Collectively, the three pillars offer a practical and proven combination to ‘turn the tide’ and help overcome the overexploitation prevalent in many of the world’s marine capture fisheries

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