Marine Mammal Commission

Principles Workshop, March 1994

The workshop developed the following seven principles, along with advice on implementation (see reference below for further details):


1. Maintenance of healthy populations of wild living resources in perpetuity is inconsistent with unlimited human consumption of and demand for those resources.

2. The goal of conservation should be to secure present and future options by maintaining biological diversity at genetic, species, population, and ecosystem levels: as a general rule neither the resource nor other components of the ecosystem should be perturbed beyond natural boundaries of variation.

3. Assessment of the possible ecological and sociological effects of resource use should precede both proposed use and proposed restriction or expansion of ongoing use of a resource.

4. Regulation of the use of living resources must be based on understanding the structure and dynamics of the ecosystem of which the resource is a part and must take into account the ecological and sociological influences that directly or indirectly affect resource use.

5. The full range of knowledge and skills from the natural and social sciences must be brought to bear on conservation problems.

6. Effective conservation requires understanding and taking account of the motives, interests and values of all users and stakeholders, but not by simply averaging their positions.

7. Effective conservation requires communication that is interactive, reciprocal and continuous. 


Mangel, M, Talbot, LM, Meffe, GK, Agardy, T, Dayton, LA, Barlow, J, Botkin, DB, Budowski, G, Clark, T, Cooke, J, Crozier, RH, Dayton, PK, Elder, DL, Fowler, CW, Funtowicz, S, Giske, J, Hofman, RJ, Holt, SJ, Kellert, SR, Kimball, LA, Ludwig, D, Magnusson, K, Malayang, BS, Mann, C, Norse, EA, Northridge, SP, Perrin, WF, Perrings, C, Regier, HA, Reynolds, JE, Sherman, K, Sissenwine, MP, Smith, TD, Starfield, A, Taylor, RJ, Tilman, D, Toft, C, Twiss, JR, Wilen, J & Young, TP (1996) 'Principles for the conservation of wild living resources', Ecological Applications, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 338-62.