Compromise and education win again!!
Posted by Elizabeth Kandror: One of the chief complaints of the commercial sport and recreational fishing industry has been that when policy makers create parameters for fisheries, i.e. make rules to which these industries must adhere to, they do not include these industries in decision making. As a result, there is conflict between all of the sectors because of conflicting interests. In 2008 a project called Fish Smart succeeded in creating a favorable management policy for king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla. The project invited representatives from various commercial, recreational, conservation and sport fishing groups to participate in policy creation and decision making at every step. The result of this involvement was a recommendation to cut the quota by twenty percent, reduce bag limit and increase minimum size to the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council , a recommendation more conservative than the recommendations of the council’s own statistical task force. The innovation of the project was in not only allowing comments after the policies have been drafted, the conventional practice of today, but involving representatives in every step. Science team explained the data to the carefully chosen representatives and facilitators made sure that every side was heard and all comments and suggestions carefully weighed and considered to create a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved by creating alternatives. If you would like to know in more detail about the process of this partnership and the components involved please visit https://www.fisheries.org/afs/docs/fisheries/fisheries_3509.pdf and look for article called Fish Smart: An innovative role for science in stakeholder-centered approaches to fisheries management.