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The CCAMLR ecosystem approach to the management of marine harvesting

Johanson, JM 1997 , 'The CCAMLR ecosystem approach to the management of marine harvesting', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The conservation processes known collectively as the /ecosystem
approach' to the management of ocean harvesting were initiated by the
Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Resources
The expectation of large-scale harvesting in the Southern Ocean of a
major prey species, Antarctic krill, prompted the inclusion in the
CCAMLR Convention of mechanisms to regulate harvesting such that
the needs of species within the Southern Ocean ecosystem were taken
into account as well as those of harvesters. Signed in 1980, it is often
claimed that CCAMLR was the first conservation-centred convention. It
has set a pattern for benign harvesting practices worldwide.
The CCAMLR model of fishery management is critically examined in this
study in order to determine whether and in what ways it is useful in the
living resource management of the Southern Ocean and possibly in other
regimes in the world. The question of whether it has been successful or
not is a complex one that cannot be answered simply by 'yes' or 'no'. The
question is therefore divided into several sub-questions, which are
addressed in eight chapters.
Legal, political and biological aspects of marine harvesting in the
Southern Ocean are identified. Pre-existing international law relating to
the Southern Ocean is examined to ascertain attitudes to conservation of
species and ecosystems. It is argued that attitudes of the Antarctic Treaty
parties towards the conservation of the Antarctic regions and their biota
facilitated the development of ecosystem paradigms and enabled them to
conclude a convention.
The three central chapters of the thesis analyse the implementation of the
ecosystem standard. This was a slow and difficult process, beset as it was
with lack of information, p olitical dissent between parties within the
Antarctic Treaty and pressures from outside. Work was undertaken to
enhance the knowledge of Southern Ocean ecosystems to lend validity to
advice used in making decisions on harvesting levels. It was difficult to
keep pace with concurrent changes in harvesting patterns. Nonetheless,
progress made in implementation of ecosystem standards in the
Southern Ocean began gradually to influence ocean harvesting regimes
elsewhere in the world.
It is argued that changes in international law concerning state
responsibility on the high seas will be required before ecosystem
approaches to living resource management can become fully effective.
Several alternative schemas for ocean management combining ecosystem
considerations and enforcement methods are therefore proposed. The
inseparable dual aims of these will be to ensure a reliable supply of
protein for human use while maintaining or restoring as far as possible
the integrity of ocean ecosystems.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Johanson, JM
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