Introduction: Social issues in sustainable fisheries management

Julie Urquhart, Timothy Acott, David Symes, Minghua Zhao

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries fisheries policies and management systems worldwide changed as commercial fish stocks declined and fishing pressure intensified. Increased technological developments have enabled fishing fleets to become highly mobile and efficient and, together with a growing demand for fish for human consumption, have contributed to 87 % of commercial fish stocks being either fully exploited or overexploited (FAO 2012). Unsurprisingly, the focus of fisheries policy and management has been directed at biological and economic dimensions in the effort to bring stocks back to sustainable levels and to protect marine environments. However, in the broad global context, social and cultural issues in fisheries policy and management have largely been ignored. Yet omitting socio-cultural objectives has consequences for many fishing communities that today are struggling to deal with the implications of such decision making (Symes and Phillipson, 2009; Urquhart et al., 2011). Examples may include increased levels of unemployment, outmigration, weaker community structures and economic difficulties, which are especially felt in fisheries dependent communities (Scottish Government 2009). These examples have a strong socio-cultural dimension while biological and economic factors are important contributing factors. Consequently, it is increasingly being recognised that sustainable fisheries will only be achieved by integrating management and policy across biological, social and economic dimensions (FCR, 2009).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Issues in Sustainable Fisheries Management
    EditorsJulie Urquhart, Tim G. Acott, David Symes, Minghua Zhao
    PublisherSpringer New York
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-7911-2
    ISBN (Print)978-94-007-7910-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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