This article discusses the underlying causes for the problem of managing fish stocks and the
aim of fisheries management.It reviews some of the research development in the area and practical experiences. Further, it deals with the future challenges and discusses potential successful strategies and outlines the necessary conditions for actual progress from the current state.
The main theme is that the fundamental problem of fisheries is the lack of well defined property rights. Any attempt to solve the problem of fisheries must deal with the property right issue. Two approaches, which meet this requirement, individual transferable quotas (ITQs) and common property resource (CPR) management, are discussed. Further, it is held that fisheries management should be part of an integrated sustainable use of marine resources, where efficient use of fish stocks is one aim. Equal attention should be given to other values from aquatic ecosystems, like ecological services, biodiversity and recreation possibilities. It is concluded that despite the fact that a lot of the world’s fisheries are in severe crisis, the future situation can be improved. Necessary conditions for a prosperous future are that current knowledge is used and that all concerned agents, scholars of different disciplines, fishermen, and managers, are involved in the decision making and management process. 1. Introduction The world's population continues to grow, before the turn of a new millennium we will exceed six billions and within another ten years the population is expected to reach seven billions. More than 60% of the population live in the coastal areas, where most of the big cities are situated, and the figure will grow due to the urbanization. This leads to increasing pressure on coastal areas and meanwhile, important breeding grounds for fish, like mangrove forests and lagoons are depleted, polluted or silted up. Global fish production, excluding aquaculture is constant at 80-85 million tonnes for the period 1987-96.
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