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Legislating for an ecosystem approach to fisheries. A review of trends and options in Africa








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    Legislating for an ecosystem approach to fisheries – Revisited
    An update of the 2011 legal study on the ecosystem approach to fisheries
    2021
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    The ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) is a risk-based management process for the planning, management, development, regulation and monitoring of fishing and fishing-related activities. EAF addresses ecological consequences of fishing as well as social, economic and institutional aspects of fisheries sustainability. Adequate legislation and regulatory frameworks are key to successful implementation of the EAF. The continuous review and update of information on legislation and regulatory instruments require the analysis of existing legal frameworks at all levels of governance, to assess whether they remain in force, valid and aligned with international fisheries law standards, including the EAF. The present work was prepared with a view to provide current information on how the EAF is being implemented through national legal frameworks of selected countries in Africa. It revisits a previous legal study prepared by Anniken Skonhoft and published by FAO in 2011. A decade later, based on the scope of that study, the present work provides updated data and contributes to the knowledge on the current global and regional legal frameworks for an EAF, which are vital for EAF implementation purposes. This update also re-analysed certain countries’ national legislation and their evolution with respect to capturing the EAF requirements. Ultimately, the present work supports the legal implementation of an EAF for a holistic, integrated and innovative way of managing fisheries that promotes the participation of all relevant stakeholders and the use of best available knowledge for decision making, whilst balancing the human dimensions with the care for the environment, habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity related with fishery resources on which they depend.
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    Report of the ANNUAL FORUM OF THE EAF-NANSEN PROJECT / THEME: THE ECOSYSTEM APPROACH TO FISHERIES - OPPORTUNITIES FOR AFRICA. Rome, 16 December 2008 2010
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    The first EAF-Nansen project Annual Forum was held at FAO headquarters in Rome, on 16 December 2008 under the theme: The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries – Opportunities for Africa. It was attended by 35 persons made up of national experts, representatives of partner projects, the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, Norad and FAO. The agenda was made up of presentations on the EAF-Nansen project, results of some of the project activities and case studies. The Annual Forum is for progress reporting, dissemination of experiences, identification of best practices and discussion of strategies. The objectives of the 2008 Forum were to provide the platform to exchange views on the EAF-Nansen project implementation and on proposals for future collaborative activities that will speed up understanding and uptake of the principles of EAF and most importantly its implementation to ensure more effective management of fishery resources in Africa. The keynote presentation on Global Pers pective and Applicability of EAF in Africa made reference to the World Bank/FAO report entitled “The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reformâ€Â and highlighted the need for change in fisheries management that involves improving human well-being and equity, applying the precautionary approach, developing adaptive management systems, ensuring compatibility of management measures and broadening stakeholder participation among others. Other presentations were on the ecos ystem surveys conducted by the R/V DR. FRIDTJOF NANSEN in African waters and some of the results obtained, legal aspects of EAF and the development of a Communication Strategy and the GIS component for the EAF-Nansen project. The case studies were from Norway, Australia, Mozambique and the EAF pilot project in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem area involving Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The opportunities that the EAF-Nansen project offers as building blocks to putting EAF into p ractice were outlined. There was an observation that the human dimension aspects of the EAF-Nansen project are relatively weak and the need for greater involvement of economists in the project was highlighted. It was suggested that political support is required to realize the benefits to be gained from implementation of the new management approach.
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    Ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture: Implementing the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries 2009
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    This publication provides guidance on how to implement the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) using an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture. The CCRF is a voluntary code covering all aspects of the management and development of fisheries and is designed to ensure sustainable development without adversely affecting the livelihoods of local communities that share the same resources as the fisheries. The authors outline the basic principles of the CCRF, describe concret e steps to be taken to use the ecosystem approach effectively, and recommend certain institutional changes and reforms that will be necessary if the potential of the ecosystem approach is to be realized in the Asia-Pacific region. The most significant reform needed is a paradigm shift in policy from one that is production oriented to one that is benefits oriented (social and economic). There is evidence that this is already being undertaken in the region with efforts being made to limit access, reduce the number of fishing vessels and introduce community-based rights systems. Stakeholder participation is essential and existing legal instruments and practices that interact with or impact fisheries may also need to be reconsidered, and adjustments made where necessary. In the future, it may even be necessary to regulate the inter-sectoral interactions and impacts through primary legislation. To promote broader adoption and implementation of the ecosystem approach by member countries, a w ide range of regional activities is suggested by the authors including a media campaign, the building of fishery alliances among countries and capacity building in fishery agencies.

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