FAO fisheries governance principles

Sissenwine MP and Mace PM (2003) Governance for responsible fisheries; an ecosystem approach. FAO, Rome (Italy)


  • Goals and constraints should be established that characterise the desired state of fisheries and undesirable ecosystem changes;
  • conservation measures should be established that are precautionary, take account of species interactions, and are adaptive;
  • allocation of property rights should provide incentives for conservation;
  • decision making processes should be participatory and transparent;
  • ecosystems and species of special concern should be protected;
  • management should be adequately supported, including scientific information, enforcement, and performance evaluation.

Other key recommendations of the report:

collaborative research should be encouraged between scientific institutions (which should be separate from management) and the fishing industry; and

fishing industry sponsored training programs to instil a responsible fishing ethic should be developed.

a transparent and accountable scientific peer review process apply to key scientific advice to ocean managers.