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Changing the Narrative on Fisheries Subsidies Reform: Enabling Transitions to Achieve SDG 14.6 and Beyond

The World Trade Organization is in the final stages of negotiating an agreement to prohibit harmful fisheries subsidies, thereby achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.6. An effective agreement should be viewed as an opportunity for nations to proactively transition towards sustainable and equitable fisheries and pave the path for other SDGs.

Catching Industrial Fishing Incursions into Inshore Waters of Africa from Space

Small‐scale fisheries contribute substantially to the sustainability of coastal communities by providing livelihood and economic opportunities and ensuring food security. However, their geographic range of operation overlaps with that of industrial fisheries, increasing the resource competition, risk of vessel collision and inter‐sector conflicts, while jeopardizing the sustainability of fish stocks. When industrial vessels venture into waters that are reserved to artisanal fisheries, their operations become illegal.

Learning, Evaluation, and Planning: Discussions from the 2018 Forum

The 2018 Forum convened by the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum (Fisheries Forum) explored the role of learning, evaluation, and planning in the regional fishery management council process. In the increasingly complex federal fisheries management process, councils must use their finite resources strategically to achieve their goals and objectives. The Forum explored methods for instilling strategy into the council process through short-term planning, setting goals and objectives, evaluation, and long-term planning. Discussions also examined opportunities to build strategic capacity at the individual and institutional levels.

West Africa's Coastal Bottom Trawl Fishery: Initial Examination of a Trade in Fishing Services

Many states attempt to increase the economic benefits generated from their fish resources through foreign fishing arrangements that can be characterized as trades in fishing services. This paper provides a first assessment of the net economic benefits in a static analysis from one of the oldest such arrangements in West Africa: the coastal bottom trawl fishery. Focusing on the coastal states of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the total resource rent (RR) generated by foreign fishing in 2015 was estimated and then decomposed for the two participants in the trade: the coastal states (RRCS) and the foreign companies (RRFC). The implications from this review are that significant trades are occurring and even increasing without the minimum data required for West African coastal states to adequately evaluate the terms of trade, nor their sustainability.

Mapping the Global Distribution of Locally Generated Marine Ecosystem Services: The Case of the West and Central Pacific Ocean Tuna Fisheries

Ecosystem service maps are instrumental for the assessment and communication of the costs and benefits of human-nature interactions. This article in the journal Ecosystem Services proposes an integrated way of assessing and mapping global flows of marine ecosystem services. It proposes a conceptual framework that integrates ecosystem service provision principles with value chain analysis and human well-being assessment methods, while considering the spatial dimension of these components in ecosystem service mapping. It applies this framework to the case of seafood provision from purse seine tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. 

Contribution of Fisheries to Food and Nutrition Security: Current Knowledge, Policy, and Research

In the context of the recently agreed-on United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the goal to end hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition, this report synthesizes the current understanding of capture fisheries’ contributions to food and nutrition security and explores drivers of those contributions. Further, the report examines how ensuring the sustainability of these fisheries—they provide nearly one-fifth of the average per capita animal protein intake for more than 3.1 billion people—and recognizing any synergies between conservation and food security objectives could be important considerations during policy development. 

Financing Fisheries Reform: Blended Capital Approaches in Support of Sustainable Wild-Capture Fisheries

Many fisheries around the world are considered an economically underperforming asset—providing lower returns than they could be if more sustainably managed. This report, co-authored by researchers at the Environmental Defense Fund and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, introduces the idea of a blended capital approach to fill the all-too-common finance gap that may hamper recovery of many fisheries. The report describes the categories of investment required to attain fisheries sustainability at each stage of the recovery process, identifies where within this framework there is likely to be the biggest funding gap, and suggests possible approaches for philanthropic and public capital to leverage private capital to help fill the gap. 

Improving our Knowledge on Small-Scale Fisheries: Data Needs and Methodologies

Small-scale fisheries play an important role in contributing to food security, nutrition, livelihoods and local and national economies. However, there is often limited data and information available on their contributions, and hence small scale fisheries tend to be overlooked and marginalized in policy processes, leading to low levels of support for the sector. This proceedings provides a summary of the presentations, discussions, conclusions and recommendations of the “Workshop on Improving our Knowledge on Small-Scale Fisheries: Data Needs and Methodologies,” held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations headquarters in Rome, Italy, in June 2017. Through the workshop, it was determined that a comprehensive new study to illuminate the hidden contributions of small-scale fisheries to the three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as identification of key threats to these contributions was needed.

Report from the National Essential Fish Habitat Summit

In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the inclusion of essential fish habitat (EFH) provisions into the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), regional fishery management councils, and their partners convened the National EFH Summit in May 2016. Held in Annapolis, Maryland, this three-day participatory working meeting was facilitated by the Fisheries Leadership and Sustainability Forum and was organized by council and NOAA Fisheries staff and leadership. The goal of this summit was to bring together council and NOAA Fisheries habitat experts to assess and identify opportunities, challenges, and successful approaches for effective implementation of the MSA-EFH authorities across regions, and in a changing environment. This report details seven emergent themes.

Managing Fisheries in a Changing Environment: Discussions from the 2017 Forum, May 1–2, 2017, Monterey, California

The 2017 Forum convened by the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum (Fisheries Forum) explored the challenges of managing fisheries in a changing environment. To meet the mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and achieve management objectives, federal fishery managers need to understand and respond to changing fisheries and marine ecosystems. The Forum explored the causes and implications of change, focusing on climate-related ocean changes; emerging capabilities to understand, model, and project future changes; pathways for integrating this information into decision making; and the opportunities for and challenges to flexibility and responsiveness in the council process. The Fisheries Forum convenes a series of forums for council members, council staff, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries staff. Each forum focuses on a topic with regional and national relevance. The forums are a unique opportunity for managers to explore emerging issues and questions and to share ideas and information across management regions.