Policy and Governance Presentations

Monday General Session

Policy and Governance Theme Panel Review Paper, —Coordinating Lead Authors: —Devin Bartley, Nancy J. Leonard, William W. Taylor,  and So-Jung Youn and —Contributing Authors: —Claudio Baigun, Chris Barlow, John Fazio, Carlos Fuentevilla, Betsy Riley, Jay Johnson,  John Jorgesen, Bakary Kone, Kristin Meira, Rebecca Metzner, Paul Onyango, Dmitry Pavlov, Jim Ruff, and Pauline Terbasket

Tuesday Oral Presentations

Ethiopia Room (Room 285, Floor 2, Building C)

10:20
Fisheries Governance in the 21st Century: Barriers and Opportunities for Fisheries and Fish Conservation in South American Large Rivers, by Claudio Baigún (The Argentine Republic) & Trilce Castillo

Governance processes in large rivers of South America are increasingly challenging to fisheries managers as resources are being deteriorated due to overfishing, damming, pollution, land use, etc. These effects are exacerbated as artisanal fisheries are sustained by long distance migratory species, often moving among countries. Most of South American freshwater fisheries support a hierarchical (conventional) management approach based on centralized command-and-control policies regulation and the application, in some cases, of a harvest-oriented market approach directed to maximize economic returns through intensive exportation fisheries. These frameworks appear to be inappropriate because they fail to understand that objectives and policies governing management of large rivers should primarily be focused on conservation of resources, improving the socio-economic benefits and the preservation of the welfare of fishing communities based on ensuring food security and employment. Despite the successful examples of participatory governance in the Amazon basin, these approaches have not been sufficiently expanded to other watershed or integrated as part of regular management programs. Using the Parana River as a case study, we identified several barriers that have precluded the effective application of conservation and fisheries governance processes at different scales. Given the success of governance is strongly related to management, there is a need to start moving towards an ecosystem approach based on a multidimensional view of river artisanal fisheries. In this context, and as an example, we developed a simple indicator (Legal Index of Ecosystem Fisheries) directed to detect gaps and opportunities for improving governance capacity-building in the Parana River.

10:30
Implementing the National Fisheries Policy through Field Lessons and Experiences: Challenges and Policy Options and Legislative Alternatives for a Sound Fisheries Co-management Regime, by Seremos Kamuturaki (The Republic of Uganda)

Between 2000 and 2003, Government of Uganda through its Fisheries Department began a long process of transforming the fishing industry. Major problems identified by then were fisheries resources depletion, environmental damage, and poverty in fishing communities due to resource mismanagement as a result of poor system of fisheries governance. To address this, in 2004 the department developed the new national fisheries policy. The policy was aimed at improving livelihoods and alleviating poverty in fishing communities through sustainable fisheries management. Implementation of the policy at local level was decentralized to local governments and further to fishing communities through the Beach Management Units (BMU) Statute 2003, legislation which has institutionalized BMUs as community institutions with a co-management function to develop, conserve, and sustain fisheries resources. However, its implementation is now faced with many challenges and problems at the frontline including increasing encroachment and overfishing and/or overexploitation of the resource, leading to declining fish stocks, poor landings, and environmental degradation with resultant poverty, food and nutritional insecurity, job insecurity, environmental disruption, and resource conflicts now evident on all major Uganda lakes (Victoria, Albert, and Kyoga). Poor management measures and approaches employed, coupled with weak and poor governance structures and the absence of mechanisms to resolve conflicts in fishing and fisheries management, are major contributing factors to the problem. This paper therefore discusses causes and challenges in achieving responsible and sustainable fisheries and makes proposals for an alternative fisheries governance model and legislative alternatives in promoting sustainable fisheries under a co-management regime.

10:40
Integrated Swamp Management to Promote Sustainability of Fish Resources: Case Study in Pampangan Swamp, South Sumatra Province, Indonesiaby Dina Muthmainnah (The Republic of Indonesia) & Budi Iskandar Prisantoso

Pampangan Swamp is a floodplain area characterized by seasonal shifts of the aquatic and terrestrial environments. During the wet season, the plain is covered by water of 1 – 4 m in depth, whereas during the dry season the plain becomes dry land. Local people living around the swamp also have seasonal activities as fishermen during the wet season and as rice farmers during the dry season. The average individual gross income is IDR 15.000.000,- per season from fisheries activity and IDR 5.000.000,- per season from rice farming. The swamp is managed in an integrated manner based on local wisdom. During the wet season, the water body is managed as a common property, where all community members are allowed to exploit fish resources. During the dry season, the permanent owners claim their plot of rice field to cultivate the rice. However, some small pools within rice field areas are still inhabited by several kinds of fish that are kept to conserve a brood stock to supply young fish when the wet season comes.

10:50
Status of Fishing in Southern Parts of the Caspian Sea, by Bahram Falahatkar (The Islamic Republic of Iran)

From ecological and biological aspects, the Caspian Sea is considered as a unique sea around the world due to the environment and the presence of valuable species of aquatic fauna and flora. Unfortunately, because of over-fishing, poaching, loss of spawning grounds, and environmental pollution, some precious fishes such as beluga (Huso huso) and ship sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris) are listed as endangered species. Also, economic bony fish species including Caspian kutum (Rutilus frisii), Mugilids (Liza spp.), and kilka (Clupeonella spp.) are exploited by Iran every year, with total catch landing of 40,000 tones per year. At present, the sturgeon fishing rate has declined to <500 mt due to illegal and overfishing; restocking and artificial reproduction is not enough for the stock rehabilitation. The cooperation of the Caspian Sea countries in the region for protection and rehabilitation of aquatics to prevent the extinction of some live species in this sea is necessary.

11:00
Disease Risks to Inland Fisheries: How Effective Are Current Policies in Preventing Fish Pathogen Spread? by Mohamed Faisal (The United States of America)

In their aquatic habitat, fish are exposed to a multitude of stressors including pathogenic microorganisms. When environmental factors fluctuate aggressively, fish host defense mechanisms become compromised and even the least virulent pathogen can cause substantial losses and long term impacts at both the population and community levels. The rising expansion in transboundary movement of fish and high stocking density in aquaculture and stock enhancement programs seem to foster the eruption of disease outbreaks. Currently, fish diseases are considered one of the major impediments to aquaculture indicating that current policies need to be revisited to prevent the spread of fish pathogens. Therefore, fish health issues must be addressed by both proactive and reactive programs. One such issue is the increased movement of fish broodstock and fertilized eggs around the globe, which plays a major role in the emergence of new diseases in previously free zones. Efforts to prevent the spread of fish pathogens with sound management practices are essential at the farm, regional, national, and international levels. In this context, many national health plans have been proposed yet only a few have been implemented. Such plans have been confronted with major obstacles, including limited knowledge, shortage of funding, and absence of political will to execute these plans.  International and national regulatory agencies share the responsibility along with the industry in managing aquatic animal diseases. Policies translated into well thought of guidelines will definitely lead to improved farm productivity, product quality, trade opportunities and ultimately profitability. 

11:10
Recreational Fishing and Traditional Livelihoods: Challenges and Perspectives for an Integrated Management Plan of Protected Natural Areas in the Amazonby Camila Sobral Barra (The Federative Republic of Brazil)

Recreational fishing tourism in Brazil is being undertaken in a competitive model, without any planning or monitoring measures, until the exhaustion of fishing resources, which has resulted in the search for unexplored regions such as the Protected Natural Areas (PNAs) in Amazon region. However, what could be a low-impact activity integrated to the management plan of the PNAs has been inserted without any due consultation of the affected communities (ILO No 169), assessment of the feasibility, or assurance of socio-environmental and economic benefits of the activity, representing significant impacts on livelihoods. The community-based project on recreational fishing tourism implemented in the Marie River – Indigenous Land Middle Rio Negro, Amazon, Brazil – counted on consistent studies and a joint monitoring and management program. The project is the result of an inter-sectorial partnership built from communities’ interest to develop an alternative economic  activity to ensure the families’ quality of life, supported by government and non-governmental organizations. It also developed measures of surveillance, once the area suffered great pressure from mining and commercial fishing. This presentation evaluates this experience and discusses bases for the regularization of recreational fishing tourism in a community-based model as an opportunity for monitoring and management of these territories as part of a strategy for food security and livelihood assurance of indigenous and traditional peoples.

11:20
The Social and Institutional Contexts of Urban Aquaculture: Resource Access, Equity, and Policy Support, by Olivia Muza (The Republic of Zimbabwe)

Fish farming contribution to global livelihoods is substantial; global returns in 2008 amounted to 33.8 million (FAO 2008). The future development of urban aquaculture is promising in Sub-Saharan Africa; for instance, 72% of fish ponds in Cameroon’s urban areas are recorded as more productive per unit (World Bank 2007). Contributing factors to urban aquaculture growth as the fastest growing food production sector include declining supplies from capture industries, population increase, growing demand for farmed fish, and ongoing urbanization. Urban aquaculture complements fish sources and increases food security, nutrition, and household income. Research on urban aquaculture has largely focused on innovative and sustainable aquaculture production systems and changing patterns in local and international markets. The context in which urban aquaculture is practised, particularly, the social and institutional context and their divergent and convergent processes to resource access, equity, and policy support and vice versa, are missing.The purpose of this study is to inform inland fisheries policy and governance issues affecting sustainable management of urban aquaculture–What governance approaches and methods are relevant at local, regional, national, and international levels? What governance opportunities and constraints exist? A global literature review is conducted to build the contextual framework of urban aquaculture. A case study of Zimbabwe’s urban aquaculture is interrogated using the contextual framework and also probing issues related to resource access, equity, and policy support. The contextual framework, the case study, and key informant interviews conducted will build the case for the future of Zimbabwean urban aquaculture in a global context.

11:30
Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture for Southern Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe: Rebuilding Declined Chambo Stocks for Increased Socio-Economic Benefits for the Local Community, by Friday Njaya (The Republic of Malawi)

The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA) is proposed for southern Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe within the Mangochi district, with data sources for the paper drawn from a baseline survey conducted in 2013. There has been a serious decline of chambo (Oreochromis sp.) landings in the target area for the past three decades due to various ecological and socio-economic problems like increased effort, weak enforcement, aquatic weed removal due to development of cottages, conflicting policies, cultivation of crops in marginal areas, and deforestation. The estimated annual chambo catch that was between 4-5,000 tonnes in the 1980s in the area have now declined to less than 2,000 tonnes since the 1990s. The reduced catch represents a loss of about MK 2 billion (approximately USD $5.5 million) using 2012 chambo beach prices. The decline, therefore, justifies the need to identify policy and governance reforms for recovery and sustainable management of the fishery. The stakeholders consider the proposed development and implementation of the EAFA plan in the target area a suitable option. While there is a need to promote recovery of the fish stocks in the capture fishery sector, the plan will encourage aquaculture for increased farmed chambo fish production for food and nutritional security, livelihoods, and as a climate change adaptation strategy. Collaboration among various sectors like fisheries, tourism, marine, wildlife, agriculture, and forestry in a decentralized framework is, however, key to the process to derive socio-economic benefits of the local community that will be empowered with necessary legal instruments.

11:40
Recent State and Main Problems of Inland Fisheries in Russia, by Dmitry F. Pavlov (The Russian Federation) & Yuri V. Gerasimov

Inland fisheries in Russia face many problems. The situation in the upper Volga River basin provides clear illustration of these problems. In 2007, commercial fishing was banned in two of the upper Volga reservoirs. It was expected that the decrease in fishing load would result in the recovery of valuable fish stocks. However, after six years not only have the stocks not recovered but the trend to their further decrease remained. The main reason for that is the lack of adequate fish stock preservation. The fishing grounds were granted to former commercial fishermen on a long-term basis. These fishermen were usually organized in some forms of collective enterprises (e. g., cartels or family companies). These enterprises treated the grounds as their own property and protected fish stocks in collaboration with state fish guard. The forms of such collaboration varied from patrolling the waters to informing the guards about illegal fishing. The ban on commercial fisheries resulted in the lack of this protection, while the state fish guard is unable to provide efficient control of poaching on large areas. In 2007 and 2011, at the upper Volga Rybinsk Reservoir, the number of fishing grounds was decreased by three times with subsequent increases in the mean areas of these grounds. It became more difficult for commercial fishermen to protect larger areas. Again, this resulted in the increase in uncontrolled illegal fishing. General drawbacks in legislation and local socio-economic problems of the resident population (e. g., a high unemployment rate) are the main reasons facilitating the intensification of poaching.

11:50
Governance of Inland Capture Fisheries: A Namibian Perspective, by Moses Maurihungirire (The Republic of Namibia)

Surface inland perennial freshwater is in short supply in Namibia due to the aridity of the environment and erratic precipitation. Perennial rivers are confined to the northern and southern borders of the country with their catchment areas being the neighbouring states. Namibia has rigorous governance instruments when it comes to aquatic resource exploitation and conservation. An Inland Fisheries Policy and Legislative Framework have been in existence since 2001. Currently, three different strategies are in use in inland fisheries viz. food fisheries on wild stocks, recreational fisheries, and exploitation of adult forms for stocking into aquaculture ponds. Conservation and management is geared toward management of the fisheries, the fish, environment, effort control and monitoring, control, and surveillance. The objective of exploiting inland fisheries resources is sustenance for the rural poor by improving nutritional and food security as opposed to the marine fisheries geared toward commercialization. Inland fisheries have of late evolved into a commercial venture for some, and fish and fish products are being exported to neighbouring states. The government is thus challenged with introducing a policy and legislative framework answering to the current eruption of commercialisation of inland fish.

Lunch break

13:30
Addressing the Post-2015 Development Agenda by Coordinated Management of Land, Rivers, Coasts, and Seas – From Source to Sea, by Torkil Jønch Clausen (The Kingdom of Denmark)

Land, rivers, coastal systems, and marine areas are inextricably linked through the hydrological cycle and through the societal needs that drives development in these areas. Coastal areas include some of the most valuable, vulnerable, and densely populated regions on Earth – and are greatly impacted by the activities upstream. An estimated 80% of coastal pollution comes from land-based activities, affecting both coastal water quality and fisheries. Impacts of climate change, not least the combination of increased flow variability, sea level rise, and increase in extreme events, make the freshwater-coastal link increasingly important to address. These connections are largely acknowledged, but often poorly managed in practice due the complexity of coordinating the wide range of institutions and interests involved. In meeting the challenges of the post-2015 development agenda, including the expected targets of the Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted in 2015, enhanced coordination – “from source to sea” – in the governance and management of activities on land, in river basins, and along coasts is urgent. This would also contribute to the necessary linking of the “green” and “blue” economies that are currently mostly addressed in isolation, and in the process contribute to the coordinated protection and development of inland and coastal ecosystems and the fisheries that they sustain. To help address these challenges operationally an “Action Platform for Source to Sea Management” was launched at World Water Week, August 2014, in Stockholm by a number of global and regional organizations that have recognized the need to develop effective partnerships to catalyze innovation and action in this complex.

13:40
Policy and Governance Challenges Facing Riverine Fisheries in India, by Parineeta Dandekar (The Republic of India) & Himanshu Thakkar

Riverine fisheries are one of the most unregulated, unmonitored, and neglected sectors in India. This is despite the fact that over 15 million fisherfolk directly depend on riverine fisheries and who are one of the most vulnerable sections of Indian society. The current regulatory and policy framework is exclusively focused on either marine or reservoir fisheries as a target area for intervention and management. State Fisheries Departments under the Ministry of Agriculture concentrate on reservoir fisheries, seeding, contractual agreements, etc., while the Ministry of Environment and Forests looks only at fish in protected areas. The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) does not include important freshwater fish species in its schedule of protected species. This effectively means little policy or institutional support for riverine fisheries. There is no data on riverine fisheries production or dependence. Riverine fisher communities are not recognized as water users, nor do they have rights to the resource being used. They are not consulted, nor compensated, when dams destroying their livelihoods come up. This is highly discriminating and has led to increasing social conflict and strife. The authors have been addressing glaring gaps in Indian policy and institutional frameworks related to riverine fisher communities and fish diversity at several platforms, including the Lower House of Indian Parliament. The paper presents a number of experiences and recommendations related to cross-cutting issues of policy and governance surrounding riverine fisheries, for a sustainable future.

13:50
Patterns Devised by French Inland Commercial Fishermen to Maintain their Knowledge, Expertise, and Heritage Values to Face Serious Crises Affecting Aquatic Environments: A Strategy for Safeguarding, by Philippe Boisneau (The French Republic), Nicolas Michelet, Didier Moreau, & Marc-Adrien Marcellier

French inland commercial fishermen face increasing difficulties to maintain their fishing and marketing activities for the fish consumption sector. The situation began to worsen in 2007 with the combination of a crisis in European eel and the rediscovery of PCB contamination of certain fishery products in the context of rapid changes in ecosystems and fish populations. The usual lack of political will or short-term political decisions, a deficit of collective organisation of inland fisheries markets, the poor visibility and image of the sector, as well as conflicting interactions with recreational anglers associations, make it difficult to develop opportunities. It makes the face of small-scale inland fisheries ageing overall and creates a decline in the number of fishermen, with a high risk of their disappearance. However, this sector devised to benefit society by diversifying its activities through environmental services useful for the knowledge and conservation of native fish biodiversity. Indeed, in most cases, inland fishermen themselves provide the only information and techniques available for assessing the level of fish stocks and the health of continental aquatic ecosystems. This knowledge, know-how, and related heritage values are part of a cultural legacy and deserve to be preserved, considering that fishing plays an important role in the social fabric and the cultural identity of many wet areas. Fishermen could also play an important role in the diversification of these territories and for the implementation of sustainable integrated projects based on long-term decision making. A strategy based on monetary and non-monetary approaches is presented for discussion.

14:00
Local-Scale Governance: A Review of the Zambian Approach to Fisheries Management, by Lloyd Haninga Haambiya (The Republic of Zambia), Emmanuel Kaunda, Jeremy Likongwe, Daimon Kambewa, & Kagoli Muyangali

Despite recent policies for optimizing sustainable management of fisheries, their success has been modest in practice. Excessive fishing effort and use of unsustainable fishing methods attributed to common-property and free access to the resources by local and industrial fleets, leading to a decline in fish catches, has continued in the presence of currently prescribed (co-)management possibilities. The country adopted a co-management approach to fisheries management in the 1990s with a view to improve the fisheries stocks through community enforcement of fishery management regulations. Co-management success has not been that easy to measure or its results appreciated. In retrospect of overfishing, continued providing of a range of empirical evidence for co-management interventions is needed as the basis for designing realistic and innovative solutions for the nation. New policies and institutions need to be informed by research developed to understand fisheries systems in order to better promote sustainable trajectories. The after-review recommendation to the central government is a coherent approach that uses and crystallizes multiple interests and skills of co-management stakeholders. Most stakeholder groups have been involved in an ad hoc fashion through workshops, public meetings, and consultative processes mainly organised by the Department of Fisheries or projects. Stakeholders should be involved from the design of the process to contributing at each step in the process, including the ongoing monitoring and evaluation. A form of Memorandum of Understanding is suggested to formally set out a process that acknowledges each stakeholder’s interests providing forums to facilitate discussion, consultation, and monitoring of management activities.

14:10
Managing Populations of Introduced Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Southern Chile: Balancing a Sustainable Recreational Fishery with Societal Demands, by Doris Soto (FAO), I. Arismendi, M. Garcia, & F. Jara

Biological invasions represent great threats to aquatic ecosystems, yet many successful invaders introduced intentionally often represent high value resources. In Chile, several species were introduced for recreational fisheries or have escaped from aquaculture facilities. Brown and Rainbow Trout and several other salmonids were introduced in the early 1900s. Currently, both trout species have naturalized populations supporting recreational fisheries that generate revenues for local communities and international operators. Chinook Salmon just began self-sustaining populations after the onset of salmon-based ranching in the 1970s and aquaculture in the early 1980s. By the 1990s, Chinook began running up various basins in Chile and Argentina to reproduce, according to their natural migration cycle, and their establishment in pristine watersheds poses new challenges for decision makers. Anglers and operators of recreational fisheries have a positive view. Others, including NGOs, conservation organizations, and the academic sector, are concerned with the ecological impacts on inland and coastal ecosystems. Small-scale commercial fishermen consider Chinook a new resource, advocating commercial salmon fishing in marine systems. The salmon farming industry strongly opposes a salmon-based fishery, as this might promote illegal trade in salmon. Operators and coastal communities that now depend on the recreational fishery for Chinook Salmon also oppose such a fishery and want to preserve the resource. Chilean authorities are thus facing a dilemma of conflicting interests, which implies maintaining self-sustaining salmon populations while minimizing environmental impacts, but also keeping the socioeconomic benefit for local communities. We propose the development of management plans following an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture to address environmental, socioeconomic, and governance issues for managing Chinook Salmon populations in southern Chile.

14:20
Socio-Ecological Analyses of Management Options for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Brazilian Amazon: Challenges and Opportunities, by Renato Azevedo Matias Silvano (The Federative Republic of Brazil), Gustavo Hallwass, Priscila F. Lopes, & Alpina Begossi

The small-scale inland fisheries in Amazonian large rivers have been impacted by habitat alteration (dams), overfishing, and social conflicts. In response to such changes, several fishing communities engaged in co-management initiatives, mainly in the form of extractive reserves or fishing accords, but there are few evaluations of their ecological and social outcomes. We aim to analyze case studies of co-management of small-scale fisheries in five rivers in the Brazilian Amazon: Solimões, Amazon, Tocantins, Negro, and Tapajós, comparing fishing yields among these regions and discussing successes, limitations and challenges. For example, the Mamiraua Reserve in Solimões River showed the highest fish catches among the studied rivers, which may be due to better fishers’ organization, more favourable ecological conditions, and strong external support. In the Tocantins River, co-management has improved fish catches and fish abundance in lakes, which is notable considering the adverse ecological conditions (oligotrophic waters, changes caused by a dam upstream) and low level of external support. In the Tapajós River, conservation units that include local people for a longer time apparently increased fishing yields, but this could be disrupted by planned dams upstream. Overall, the potential success of these measures to improve fishing yields and maintain fish abundance is related to productive habitats (larger lake area), community organization, strategic location of managed lakes (distance to major cities and accessibility), and scale (local, less centralized). We hope that our analyses may help to identify and establish future successful co-management systems in the Brazilian Amazon and elsewhere.

14:30
Sustaining Fisheries in the Inner Niger Delta, Mali, by Bakary Kone (The Republic of Mali), Diallo Mory, & Van Frank Weert

The Malian fishery is of great importance to the economy of Mali, providing 4% of the GDP and national food security. Approximately 80% of fish production in Mali is derived from the Inner Niger Delta (IND). Here fish production is largely determined by the extent of annual flooding. Future prospects for fishermen have become worrisome since floods are smaller than in the past which may be partly attributed to upstream dams (Sélingué and Markala) and water diversions for irrigation. A further reduction of water availability in the IND is expected, given plans for more upstream irrigation and water infrastructure such as the Fomi Dam, while climate change effects are uncertain. The degradation of the IND’s key natural ecosystems, like flooded forests, has significantly reduced fish reproduction grounds. The ongoing depletion of fish stock may ultimately lead to the loss of fish as a natural resource on significant scale and trap fishers in a cycle of poverty. To counter this trend, Wetlands International and its partners are advocating for equitable water sharing and better water governance to sustain fisheries through a participatory approach whereby traditional fisheries management is integrated in river basin-wide food security and environmental governance. This cross-sectoral approach to sustainable ecosystem management is increasingly being supported and recognised by the government of Mali and donors, resulting in the Sustainable Development Programme for the IND that aims for a shared vision on the priority measures for institutional development and the management of the natural resources and ecosystems.

14:40
Integrating Fishery Interests when Considering Habitat Restoration: Insights from the Laurentian Great Lakes, by John M. Dettmers (The United States of America), R. L. Knight, & J. T. Tyson

Fishery managers in the Laurentian Great Lakes recognize that habitat quality, both in the lakes themselves and in their watersheds, is important to productive fisheries.  Nevertheless, fishery managers do not regulate habitat.  Rather, a complex suite of federal, state, provincial, and local agencies regulate various aspects of habitat quality that may affect fish populations in the Great Lakes.  At the same time, indicators of habitat quality often include metrics for fish or fisheries.  In 2012, Canada and the United States revised their Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, allowing for greater consideration of biological and physical factors that affect habitat.  This renewed framework, coupled with fishery managers’ own objectives for environmental health and a willingness among parties to work toward mutually agreed-on goals, shows promise for incorporation of priorities of fishery managers.  Great Lakes fishery managers are developing strategic principles and priorities that can be shared with regulators and applicators to incorporate into their own guidance when considering habitat projects.  Engagement with agencies that regulate habitat at both strategic and operational levels is important for the greatest opportunity to meaningfully include fishery objectives into habitat restoration efforts.  Once strategic goals are appreciated, state and provincial fishery managers likely need to work closely with their counterparts in environmental offices and with local applicators to achieve strategic goals.

14:50
Rehabilitating Fishes of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, by John Koehn (Australia)

The Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) in south-eastern Australia covers than 1 million km² and involves six different jurisdictions and a myriad of management agencies. As “Australia’s food bowl,” MDB fish populations have suffered substantial declines and, given their ecological, economic, social, recreational, and cultural values, a Native Fish Strategy (NFS) was developed to return fish populations from an estimated 10% of pre-European settlement levels to 60% after 50 years of implementation. The NFS addressed key threats; took a coordinated, long-term, multi-jurisdictional approach; focussed on rehabilitation of all native fishes (not just angling species); and managed alien species. A series of 10-year plans had four key areas: the generation of new knowledge, demonstration that multiple actions could achieve improvements, building collaborative approaches, and the communication of existing and newly-acquired science. A key component was the engagement of communities and stakeholders through the use of dedicated coordinators and the development of “demonstration reaches” where multiple actions were undertaken with community involvement. The NFS provides an effective partnership model where central coordination, coupled with focused jurisdictional ownership and actions, could deliver benefits to all governments. It synthesised and disseminated knowledge, integrated research and management, and catalysed actions for priority problems. The MDB provides a complex case study for managing freshwater fishes but the NFS provides a positive and holistic approach that may be applicable to other large river basins.

Poster Presentations

Posters are on display in the FAO library (ground flo0r) during all three days of the conference. Poster authors will be present with their posters during the poster session reception on Tuesday at 17:00.

Breaking Down Barriers to Transparent Decisions: A Role for Structured Decision-Making in the Management of Impounded Rivers, by Lisa K. Peterson (The United States of America), Michael L. Jones, & John M. Dettmers

Natural resource management is a field where nearly every significant decision is complex. Decisions about whether to build, repair, or remove dams are universally multifaceted and frequently politically charged. In North America there has been a push to remove dams to restore native fish species while in other parts of the world dams are being constructed to meet the growing demand for electricity; globally, dams have become a focus of conflict for government agencies, as well as for the public. Wise decisions about barriers must take into account a variety of potentially conflicting objectives, including power generation, flood control, maintenance of river-system connectivity, and limiting the spread of invasive species, contaminants, or disease. Decisions about dams affect ecological, social, and economic values at local, regional, and even basin-wide scales that can span multiple states or countries. For these reasons, it is critical to look at the trade-offs and uncertainties among competing objectives in a transparent and organized way, and this is where structured decision-making can be most useful. As part of a fellowship project for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, we designed a Structured Decision Making (SDM) framework that both utilizes the basic steps of a decision-making process – identifying context, objectives, and performance measures; alternatives; and consequences and uncertainties – and illustrates their application to real world situations. This framework provides managers with a road map to better barrier related decision-making.

Identifying Freshwater Protected Zones and Co-Management Partnerships in the Vicinity of Fishways in Tropical Systems in Order to Prevent Localized Overharvest in the Lower Mekong Basin, Lao PDR, by Douangkham Singhanouvon (The Lao People’s Democratic Republic), Oudom Phonekhampeng, Lee J. Baumgartner, Daniel Z. Deng, Garry Thorncraft, Craig A. Boys, & Richard S. Brown

Research and development activities have provided evidence that fish passage construction and protection around these facilities provides positive benefits for floodplains and fish species. The value of conserving natural areas is extremely beneficial and will influence policy changes amongst all levels of the community and government. The Laos government is focusing on maintaining food and water security, ensuring jobs and sustainable livelihoods especially when it comes to the fisheries industry, but these areas are now being changed by key trade-offs such as hydropower, infrastructure, and mining industries. Fisheries agencies in Lao PDR are interested in identifying freshwater protected zones and co-management partnerships in the vicinity of fishways in tropical systems in order to prevent localised overharvest. The purpose of a fishway is to restore free fish migration, but this is negated if fishermen simply use the new device to harvest fish. There is a strong need to establish freshwater protected zones and co-management partnerships in the vicinity of fishways to protect migrating fish from harvest and exploitation to ensure the ecological benefits are recognised. By establishing protected zones and co-management partnerships on a world scale, it will demonstrate how they can be applied within Lao PDR, which will contribute to maintaining food security for Lower Mekong communities and to improve the ecology of floodplain wetlands by rehabilitating fish communities. This will help when the Lao government considers issues like integrated development, planning, and programming policy and will ensure that these developments are sustainable for future developments within Lao PDR.

Enhanced Fish Production in Man-Made Reservoirs in Sri Lanka Through Introduction of Culture-Based Fisheries, by Jayantha Chandrasoma (The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka is blessed with a large number of irrigation reservoirs (>12,000). The total extent of these reservoirs are around 300,000 ha. Depending on their hydrological regimes, they are broadly categorized into perennial and seasonal reservoirs. These reservoirs are secondarily used for inland fisheries. The government of Sri Lanka has recognized the importance of the development of inland fisheries in these reservoirs as an effective way of increasing fish supplies in rural areas at affordable prices to enhance nutrition and provide employment and additional income to rural farmers, thereby contributing towards alleviation of poverty. Strategies adapted include the introduction of culture-based fisheries into seasonal and perennial reservoirs, enhanced stocking, co-management of inland fisheries with the participation of all stakeholders and with fisher communities playing a major role in the introduction of fisheries management measures. Implementation of these strategies has resulted in 110% increase in inland fish production from these reservoirs during last six years. Inland fish play an important role in enhancing nutrition among communities, with 50-85% of fish consumed in some of the inland districts coming from reservoirs. Inland fisheries provide livelihoods for around 47,000 people in Sri Lanka. The role of fisher CBOs in the development of culture-based fisheries in these reservoirs, legal provisions available under Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act which facilitates development and management of inland fisheries, and the fisheries management measures introduced are also discussed. The inadequacy of the availability of fish seed of required species is the major constraint for the development of inland fisheries.

The Prospect for Regional Governance of Inland Fisheries in Central Eurasia, by Norman A. Graham (The United States of America)

The successor states to the former Soviet Union located in Central Asia and the Caucasus have substantial challenges in promoting sustainable inland and small scale fisheries. This is particularly true due to the impact of the energy-water nexus that characterizes the domestic development challenges of the eight countries. Pressure for increased hydroelectric generation capacity within national borders threatens to disrupt traditional fisheries and wildlife habitat, and the international tensions deriving from competing claims to the precious river flows constrain regional cooperation and portend political and perhaps military conflict. There has been progress in regional economic integration among the Caspian Basin littoral states, in the context of the ECO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the emerging Eurasian Economic Community. This paper will explore the constraints and prospects for regional cooperation and governance systematically, taking into account regional and bilateral tensions and drivers.

How Can Science Strengthen Adaptive Management Capabilities in Myanmar Inland Fisheries, by Khin Maung Soe, Nyunt Win, Gareth Johnstone (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Matthew & Xavier Tezzo

Integrating science into the management process for inland fisheries development faces several key challenges, not least strengthening national institutional capacities to carry out research and routine data collection, and using data to test and adapt new technologies and practices. Inland fisheries in Myanmar face such challenges and lack a comprehensive information base on fisheries, lack proven management approaches and technologies, and have limited technical capacity to implement fisheries projects to innovate and adapt. Current data on Myanmar’s inland fishery indicate that it plays a vital role in national food security and income generation with a production volume estimated to be the highest in Southeast Asia at 1.2 million metric tonnes in 2012. However, a lack of accurate reporting and research data means that inland fisheries are given a low priority by policy makers and planners that undermines the strategic decision-making and adaptive management capabilities of the sector. In this paper, we present two institutional adaptations for integrating and strengthening science into the development of Myanmar’s inland fishery. These are: (1) vertically integrated activity working groups (AWGs) within the Department of Fisheries that test different fishery technologies and management practices to improve productivity, incomes, and food and nutrition security; and (2) a sector-wide network called the Fishery Research and Development Network (FRDN) that involves government, private sector, universities, NGOs, and international organizations in collaborative research. The benefits of the AWGs and FRDN are the sharing of knowledge and learning across the sector with strengthened capabilities for adaptive management.

The Great Debate on the Great Lakes: How Value Systems around Aquaculture Influence Public Policy, by Betsy Riley (The United States of America), William W. Taylor, Marc Gaden, & Nancy Leonard

The Great Lakes are caught between two opposing international policies, one allowing aquaculture on its waters, and one prohibiting it. This research seeks to understand the political environments within the Great Lakes basin to explain what has made the United States and Canada come to different decisions on this issue. This research uses government resource allocations of funding as proxies for societal values in order to track where fisheries policy has been valued historically in terms of its commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing and compare this to government funding supporting aquaculture initiatives. This allocation data was compiled and analyzed in coordination with historical data on how current Great Lakes governance institutions have evolved to meet changing circumstances, in order to allow estimates of long term trends in the region. Extrapolations were then made with regards to resource allocation use in potential future scenarios of changing values among political constituents, including water scarcity, the demands of increasing population, and large-scale ecological changes such as damage from invasive species and pollution.

Self Help Groups in Indian Fisheries Sector: Cases in Tribal Dominated State Chhattisgarh, by Shweta Kumari (The Republic of India), Arpita Sharma, M. Krishnan, & C. S. Chaturvedi

National development depends on the development of rural people and Self Help Groups (SHGs) have emerged as a viable alternative to achieve the objectives of rural development. It has been reported in a synthesis paper by FAO (2012) that SHGs have proven to be effective service delivery channels because of their federated structure and transparent and predictable systems for the establishment and capacity to deliver several service functions. Research has shown that SHGs are helping in poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment. In India, women’s as well men’s SHGs are working across different sectors. This paper discusses the workings of Self Help Groups in fisheries sector and if any gender differences exist as regards the performance of SHGs as well as constraints faced by them. This has been done by examining the case of 40 SHGs involved in the fisheries sector in a tribal dominated newly developed state of Chhattisgarh in India. The study has found that SHGs have been able to leverage the support provided by the Department of Fisheries in terms of pond leasing and input supply as well as training programmes. Both women and men members of the SHGs are equally participating in fisheries activities. Performance of women’s SHGs has been marginally better than men’s SHGs even when the literacy in women was reported to be relatively less. SHG formation is highly recommended and investing in the SHGs makes a lot of sense on all accounts and these can be an effective tool for the Indian Government’s ambitious financial inclusion drive to integrate the poor with bank accounts.

Effects of Law Enforcement on Inland Fisheries Sustainability, by Molly J. Good (The United States of America), William W. Taylor, Edmund F. McGarrell, Kevin Ramsey, & Chris Goddard

Inland fish and fisheries are valuable resources. Ecologically, they maintain significant roles in the functioning of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Socially, they provide human consumers with a valuable nutrient source and sustain commercial, recreational, and artisanal fisheries and allied industries. To ensure their sustainability, inland fisheries are often controlled by law enforcement of various regulatory constraints. Some of the common law enforcement constraints in fisheries include catch or harvest quotas, gear restrictions, and seasonal closures, which in many areas are enforced by on-the-ground patrolling and drones. However, management and regulatory agencies do not always practice law enforcement equally on the global scale. Management groups and agencies, especially in developing nations, may fail to possess the personnel, capacity, or financial stability to adequately enforce sustainable fishing and environmental behaviors. Additionally, enforcement personnel may function within ineffective governance systems. These issues, coupled with the high demand for inland fisheries resources, have likely contributed to their overexploitation and potential depletion throughout the world. Though the lack of proper enforcement is a problem facing many inland fisheries, the severity of the problem can differ greatly upon the location in question, its own fishing community, and the local governance structure. The purpose of this paper is to acknowledge the importance of effective law enforcement and regulatory policies in the long-term sustainability of inland fisheries resources. This will be done through a comparative analysis of two major, multi-jurisdictional inland waterbodies, the North American Great Lakes and the African Great Lakes Region.

Reservoirs of Doom and Boom: a Critical Reappraisal of Yield Estimates, Policy and Governance Framework for Reservoir Fisheries Development in India, by Pachampalayam Shanmugam Ananthan (The Republic of India), V. Ramasubramanian, & Chrispin C. Lloyd

Reservoir fisheries are called a sleeping giant in India due to their untapped potential for fish production and livelihood development. The absence of reliable data is said to be plaguing development efforts. According to official statistics, which are three decades old, India has 19,370 reservoirs covering an area of 3,153,366 ha with an average yield of 20 kg. Combining recent remote sensed resource area data (2006) and fieldwork (2011-2014) in four major Indian provinces (Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu), this study has attempted a realistic estimation (and update) of reservoir area and fish yield in Indian context. Log-log regression of yield (39 large reservoirs) on their area demonstrated that yield has shot up from 10.9 kg in 1980-81 to 38.2 kg (FRL area) and 75 kg (EWS area) in 2011-12. However, official policy (or the lack thereof) and planning processes continue to be dominated by technological determinism without internalising that reservoir fisheries development is rather a complex function of ecology, fisheries, socio-economics, and governance. Detailed and critical assessment of the governance framework in 13 Indian states within the triad of revenue-, welfare-, and development-oriented models places most of them as inclined towards first or second thereby spelling doom for reservoir fisheries. At the same time, various institutional innovations, ranging from fishers cooperatives and regulated markets to government guided intervention and those driven by market competition (documented in this study), provide sufficient markers that Indian reservoir fisheries are in for a sustained boom, provided enabling policy and institutional arrangements are in place.

Law and Traditional Knowledge in a Fisheries Agreement in the Community of Santo Antônio do Rio Urubu Boa Vista do Ramos, Amazon, Brazil, by Denison Melo de Aguiar (The Federative Republic of Brazil) & Serguei Aily Franco de Camargo

The legal protection of traditional knowledge may occur in fisheries agreements, as instruments of social empowerment and economic policy in riverine communities. The objective of this research was to describe how the traditional knowledge associated with fisheries management was inserted in the fishery agreement number 11/2003 of Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Renewable Resources (IBAMA), which the community named Santo Antônio do Rio Urubu (AM) participated. The research was bibliographical and empirical. Field trips to interview community members were performed from March 2010 to January 2011. It was observed that the main point of fisheries management was the traditions of the community and not the formal law of the state. It was found that this traditional knowledge associated with fisheries management is overseen by the state, through fishing agreements, when it does not conflict with the law. In this case, legal protection of such knowledge is necessary to maintain dialogue between the traditions of riverine communities with the state law. Therefore, fisheries agreements are examples of how co-management can be an effective tool in the legal protection of traditional knowledge.

Fishery Certification: Bridging the Sustainability Gap in Informally and Traditionally Managed Fisheries, by Yemi O. Oloruntuyi (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) & N. Guitierrez

The Marine Stewardship Council’s fishery certification programme is designed to be accessible to all sustainable fisheries regardless of size, scale, or type. The MSC assessment process is an evidence-based process, in which fisheries are required to demonstrate conformity by providing information that is publicly available and accessible, to demonstrate how they meet requirements related to policy and governance requirements in the MSC standard. Many small-scale, inland fisheries may be managed under more informal, less discernable systems, thus constraining their ability to demonstrate compliance with certification requirements. The MSC system, however, recognises the need for management approaches to be appropriate to the scale and intensity of a fishery. The MSC has therefore developed a specific guidance framework that ensures the assessment process accounts for well-functioning, local, and informal management systems and which also allow the assessment process to be used as a tool to incentivise improvements in management where appropriate. Using two case study fisheries, this paper explores how local and informal approaches to management systems are considered within assessments against the MSC standard and how, through the ensuing benefits of certification, improvements in policy and governance are motivated in such fisheries. The study highlights the importance of function over form in the assessment of small-scale, inland fisheries. It concludes that in fisheries where the management system is underpinned by more informal attributes, including the use of social norms, commonly held values, and peer monitoring, certification has the potential to offer a viable market and conservation tool.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Fishermen on the Seasonality of Fish Diet: Fish Population Conservation in Protected Areas, Araguari River, Amazonia by Fabiana Calacina da Cunha (The Federative Republic of Brazil), Aldilene L. Santos, Maria G. M. Soares, & Luiza Prestes

The National Forest of Amapá (FLONA-AP) is one of the major protected areas in the state of Amapá. This area is valuable alternative source of income for many families through Araguari river fisheries. Among the targets of commercial fishing , the pacu fish is highlighted (Characiformes: Serrasalminae), being sold in markets in the region. The paper registers the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of fishermen – TEK (Conhecimento Ecológico Tradicional – CET) – on the seasonality of the diet of six species of pacu, Myloplus spp., Myloplus asterias, Myloplus ternetzi, Tometes trilobatus, Prosomyleus rhomboidalis, and Mylesinus paraschomburgkii. Interviews with fishermen (n = 20) of the National Forest-AP were performed. The CET of fishermen provided detailed information on the composition of the diet of six species of pacu, that varies seasonally and there are not differences between the types of food items consumed by the species. During the winter, there is a high consumption of fruits and seeds from the flooded forest. In summer, there is high consumption of periphyton and insects but also fruit and seed. These fish can be considered as dispersers of seeds that are part of their diet. In this case, the flooded forest habitats should be considered vital to the development of these important fish and therefore defined as priority areas for conservation. In this context, the inclusion of CET fishermen in decisions for conservation of fishing resources, especially in FLONA-AP, is important to be considered.

The Role of Extension Educators in Enabling Healthy Ecosystems, by Heather Triezenberg (The United States of America)

Achievement of healthy ecosystems and sustainable fisheries management will likely require governance strategies that address local and global population growth and resource dependencies, and drivers and consequences of changing ecology, and that occur over multiple governmental jurisdictions. These complex conditions with high levels of uncertainty, likely to be accompanied by diverse stakeholder values, will likely require trusted professionals who engage stakeholders to create new policy alternatives to achieve healthy ecosystems. Extension Educators – professionals with university-based outreach programs in Michigan, Great Lakes Region, USA – are trained to work with community planners to enhance their capabilities, economy, and ecosystem. They do this by engaging with stakeholders in local communities, who oftentimes have differing perspectives on topics that have high levels of uncertainty (ecological or policy), such as the case of changing ecosystems and fisheries as a result of aquatic invasive species. Trusted by stakeholders, scientists, and decision-makers, Sea Grant Extension Educators are skilled at designing programs to communicate science, conduct inquiry on stakeholder needs and interests, and facilitate planning and policy processes that expand the understanding of issues and relevant science and expand the scope of policy alternatives so enduring solutions can be developed and implemented. These professionals can help make the resources, knowledge, diverse perspectives, and policy options visible. The role of Extension Educators in inland fisheries management may be necessary to achieve healthy ecosystems in the Great Lakes Region, USA, and around the world because inland fisheries will increasingly supply food sources for the world.

Artisanal Fishery in Lake Atitlán: History, Communitarian Structure, and Threats, by Monica Orozco (The Republic of Guatemala) & Ingo Wehrtmann

Early pre-classic Mayan settlements (500 B.C.) are the first recorded human populations inhabiting Lake Atitlán in Sololá, Guatemala. Ever since, historical, geological, and political events have shaped the social and ethnographic structure of the region. Presently, four different ethnic groups coinhabit Lake Atitlán’s watershed, three of them of Mayan descent (Kaqchikel, Tz’utujil, and K’iche’), dispersed in 12 communities. These groups have distinct linguistic and cultural characteristics as well as conflictive relationships, but share common economic practices such as a subsistence artisanal fishery. Currently, the majority of artisanal fishers works independently or are organized in four communitarian associations. The fishery is seen as a biological-spiritual process, associated with the world view of the lake and its people, which has been inherited generationally. There is a clear work division within fisher families, in which the men fish and the women sell the catch locally. One-third of these families rely on fishery as their main economic activity; the remaining families combine it with other agricultural activities. The fishery also contributes to the families´ food security by providing a source of nutrients. Currently, 10 species of fish (5 of them endemic and 5 introduced) as well as mollusks and crabs are harvested. The species with the highest economic importance in the region are: Lepomis macrochirus, Micropterus salmoides, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, Oreochromis, Potamocarcinus magnus, and Raddaus bocourti. Complex socio-cultural and environmental factors, as well as the lack of community-based management programs, threaten the artisanal fishery in Lake Atitlán.

Critical Factors Impacting Inland Fishery Value Chain Dynamics in Central Mexico, by Carmen Pedroza-Gutierrez (The United Mexican States) & Jorge Lopez-Rocha 

Inland fisheries in Mexico represent a source of protein, income, and employment for rural communities. In addition, the most consumed fish in the country are freshwater fishes; however, in the national statistics they only account for 3% of the total fish catch volume. Demand is higher than supply because the national market can only provide 50% of this consumption. These fisheries are currently passing through a complex situation that prevents an increase production levels and fishers’ income. Considering value chain analysis and fish catch dynamic approaches, this paper aims to examine the main production constraints to increased production to satisfy national demand. Fieldwork was carried out in two periods with a three-month lapse during 2011 and 2012 on four lakeside communities around two different lakes: Lake Chapala, the largest in the country, and Lake Yuriria, one of the first reservoirs created in modern Mexico. Catch volume statistics were obtained from local fishing offices, fishers’ cooperatives, and middlemen. The methodological approach considers socioeconomic factors and catch volume temporal variability in both lakes. Results show that production constraints are related to environmental, fishery management, and organizational factors. Catch levels are strongly related to the environmental conditions of the lake, showing instability and decline that affects fishers’ livelihood. In addition, IUU fishing and the weak efficiency of the institutions to rule the actions and conduct of all the actors that intervene in the management and use of these resources allows destructive strategies towards the fisheries.

Engaging with Stakeholders for Sustainable Inland Fisheries: A Before-After-Control-Impact Study on Learning for Sustainable Stocking in German Recreational Fisheries, by Marie L. Fujitani (The Federal Republic of Germany), Andrew McFall, Christoph Randler, Daniel Huhn, Thilo Pagel, & Robert Arlinghaus

Fish stocking is the most widespread management tool for freshwater fisheries, but stocking can be economically wasteful and ecologically harmful. This project evaluated two educational interventions that taught sustainable stocking practices in one of the largest educational randomized experiments of its kind involving stakeholders who have a direct say in management. In Germany, anglers are leaseholders of fishing rights and oversee management actions such as stocking. Seventeen angler clubs from Lower Saxony were randomly assigned to control, stocking lecture, or transdisciplinary cooperation groups. We assessed the efficacy of the interventions at changing knowledge and behavioral antecedents using questionnaires. Lecture group anglers received a presentation on sustainable stocking. For the transdisciplinary group, in addition to the same stocking lecture, anglers and scientists collaborated to design, conduct, and evaluate stocking experiments on different species in diverse club water bodies. Transdisciplinary group anglers experimented and observed effective and ineffective stocking. Results of the two educational interventions were analyzed by Before-After-Control-Impact analysis with club-level random effects. We found that anglers absorbed information from the lectures in the short-term, but had forgotten most topics 10 months later. The transdisciplinary intervention was twice as successful, as anglers remembered twice as many topics 8-10 months after the program ended. Behavioral antecedents remained unchanged in all groups. Sustainable stocking uses best available science, is tailored to conditions and goals, and constantly evaluated and refined. Transdisciplinary cooperation performed better than lectures in teaching adaptive management and monitoring, in addition to building relationships with stakeholders and facilitating two-way knowledge transfer.

MSC Certification Triggers Management Actions in Freshwater Fisheries, by Stephanie Good (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Mandy Doddema, Oluyemisi Oloruntuyi, & Nicolas L. Gutierrez

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, non-profit global organisation, which uses its fishery certification program to rewards certified sustainable fisheries with the ability to use the MSC ecolabel. Assessment against the MSC Fisheries Standard can be undertaken by marine or freshwater wild-caught fisheries, irrespective of their nature, scale, and intensity. The MSC Fisheries Standard comprises three principles: (1) health of target stock, (2) environmental impacts of fishing, and (3) effectiveness of management. An important aspect of the MSC program is to allow fisheries that meet the requirements in these three principles to be certified, provided they commit to improvement action plans that result in best practice performance when needed. Through this process, the MSC program incentivises positive changes in fisheries. Although there may be different management frameworks in marine and inland fisheries, the MSC Fisheries Standard is equally applicable and relevant in highlighting resources’ sustainability and generating improvements when needed. Here, we will use two freshwater certified fisheries (Lake Hjälmaren pikeperch and Waterhen Lake walleye and pike) to highlight some of action plans from improvements developed by the industry. These include formalization of harvest control rules and harvest strategies, improved data collection on bycatch numbers and impacts, and dissemination of research plans and outputs. The MSC Fisheries Standard needs to be fairly generic in order to apply to fisheries globally, and despite inland fisheries already successfully using it to achieve certification, potential reviews of both requirements and guidance with regards to applicability to inland fisheries will be discussed.