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Ecosystem-based fisheries management: An Australian perspective

  • James P. Scandol (a1), Michael G. Holloway (a1), Philip J. Gibbs (a1) and Karen L. Astles (a1)


The terms ‘ecosystem-based fisheries management’, ‘ecosystem-based management’ and ‘ecosystem approach to fisheries’ have recently entered the vernacular of fisheries management. Examination of contemporary guidelines and proposals for such an approach illustrates that ecosystem-based fisheries management is, for all intents and purposes, a re-expression of the objectives and processes associated with ecologically sustainable development (and associated international instruments). Since the early 1990's, all levels of government in Australia have committed themselves to the concept of ecologically sustainable development, and a complex network of policies and laws exist to support this, particularly in natural resource management. One significant outcome of these instruments is the application of environmental impact assessment to the management of fisheries. This has forced extensive deliberation of the ecological impact of fisheries and stimulated the development and application of new research tools. Application of environmental impact assessment to the management of fisheries has been a crucial step for the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management in Australia. These assessments are embedded within a range of legal and policy instruments that capture the ecological, economic and social dimensions of fisheries. The scientific challenges associated with many aspects of ecosystem-based fisheries management are very significant, but it is likely that the value-based nature of the underlying environmental issues will continue to dominate the managerial agenda.


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Ecosystem-based fisheries management: An Australian perspective

  • James P. Scandol (a1), Michael G. Holloway (a1), Philip J. Gibbs (a1) and Karen L. Astles (a1)


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