Managing Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainable Fisheries

Under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) IFCAs must manage the exploitation of sea fisheries resources in their district, and in performing that duty they must seek to ensure that the exploitation is carried out in a sustainable way.

In order to guide the North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NWIFCA) in preforming this duty the Authority adopted a Set of Principles for Sustainable Fisheries in September 2011. These are used as a standard intended to guide the work of the NWIFCA in managing sea fisheries resources in its District. The Principles have been adapted from those developed by the Marine Stewardship Council who used an extensive, international consultative process through which the views of stakeholders in fisheries were gathered.

The Principles reflect a recognition that a sustainable fishery should be based upon:

  • The maintenance and re-establishment of healthy populations of targeted species.
  • The maintenance of the integrity of ecosystems.
  • The development and maintenance of effective fisheries management systems, taking into account all relevant biological, technological, economic, social, environmental and commercial aspects.
  • Compliance with relevant local and national laws and standards and international understandings and agreements.

The Principles are further designed to recognise and emphasise that management efforts are most likely to be successful in accomplishing the goals of conservation and sustainable use of marine resources when there is full co-operation among the full range of fisheries stakeholders, including those who are dependent on fishing for their food and livelihood.

The NWIFCA further recognises the need to observe and respect the long-term interests of people dependent on fishing for food and livelihood to the extent that it is consistent with ecological sustainability, and also the importance of fisheries management and operations being conducted in a manner consistent with established local, national, and international rules and standards. A full set of principles is available here.