Co-management found best for fisheries


More than 130 fisheries in 44 countries were studied, researching how co-management practices affect fisheries around the world. The results, according to UW’s Dr Nicolas Gutierrez, who headed the research team, showed that a co-management framework, based on shared responsibility between the government and local fishermen, is the “only realistic solution” to the problems fisheries face.

The researchers found that the traditional “top-down” approach-trawling quotas set down and policed by central authorities-was failing in many fisheries as rules were often poorly implemented or abused. “Many people believe that having fishermen involved in the management process is letting the fox guard the henhouse,” said co-author Dr. Ray Hilborn. “What [this research] shows is just the opposite, that the more involved the fishing industry is in management, the better the outcome.”