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Ecosystem based fisheries management from concept to practice: Australia, a case study

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Webb, H (2010) Ecosystem based fisheries management from concept to practice: Australia, a case study. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

There are a number of reasons for the move towards sustainable development and ecosystem based fisheries management. Public concern and awareness over the impact of development on the environment started in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of the environment movement and the global sustainability debate. This was in response to visible effects of degradation on the environment caused by human activities, and a challenging of traditional assumptions that the natural environment had the capacity to provide unlimited resources for continued economic and population growth. The past two decades has been characterised by an acknowledgement that previous management approaches have failed to effectively address the issues effecting oceans and fisheries, and the growing realisation that a holistic approach is required to ensure the proper governance and management of the oceans and fisheries. The overall objective of EBFM is to sustain healthy marine ecosystems and the fisheries they support. There is now a large literature on EBFM, but much less on implementation and no general agreed framework for assessing EBFM. A systems approach is one way to deal with the above difficulties. The central proposition of this thesis has argued that managing under ESD/EBFM principles is complex and one needs to understand the big picture in order to identify and understand the parts. This approach has been used throughout each stage of the thesis by way of unpacking the whole into its constituent parts and developing an understanding of the key dependencies and relationships; and repacking by discussing the importance of integrated governance and management in terms of consistency when translating from general concepts and definitions into principles, criteria, objectives, and the specific approaches for implementation. To assess management strategies in the context of the overall “fisheries system” that links the marine ecosystem, users, scientists, government agencies and other stakeholders, it is helpful to begin to get a sense of what such a system might look like. To achieve this, an integrated model has been developed, which displays the broad dimensions and interconnected and interlinked nature of ecosystems and human systems under EBFM principles. The model was further developed in terms of the biosocioecomic and the governance and management dimensions, which are underpinned by a set of frameworks. These provide a framework for describing and xii understanding of the dimensions, components, characteristics and key drivers for each of the dimensions. Australia has adopted ESD and EBFM which forms the basis for governance and management of oceans and fisheries across all jurisdictions. In moving from the more theoretical and conceptual aspects to an application of ESD/EBFM, the model was applied to Australia, providing empirical material through which to qualitatively assess its application. It was argued that the conceptual model could be used to successfully represent the real world in moving from a broad representation of ESD and EBFM to the detailed implementation at the fisheries level in Australia. One area of the model that requires further development, and is necessary for fully implementing EBFM, concerns societal choice and values. Future key challenges at the international level and nationally for Australia is the need to simultaneously govern and manage both current and emerging issues, which will require different approaches; and the need to move to a fully integrated assessment approach so that adaptive management can be implemented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: australia, tasmania, ecosystem, fisheries, habitat, sustainable
Publisher: University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2011 01:35
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:15
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/10519
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