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Unintended And Perverse Consequences Of Ignoring Linkages In Fisheries Systems

Poul Degnbol, Bonnie J. McCay

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Abstract Degnbol, P., and McCay, B. J. 2006. Unintended and perverse consequences of ignoring linkages in fisheries systems. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 793–797. The development of fisheries management strategies within institutions such as national governments, the EU, and ICES includes explicit or implicit decisions on longer term management objectives and performance criteria, on the relevant knowledge base for tactical management decisions, on decision rules regarding fisheries in the current or forthcoming fishing season, and on the implementation framework. These decisions, moreover, must be relevant to the characteristics of the fisheries and the stocks being exploited. The development of management strategies must be based, therefore, on an understanding of the overall fisheries system and linkages among its components. Based on recent examples in Europe and North America, we discuss how a failure to understand the linkages in the fisheries system may lead to management strategies that fail to achieve their objectives, and how an understanding of these linkages can inform the development of strategies that are more likely to achieve policy objectives.