Dalhousie Law Journal


fisheries, management, fleets, regulation, science, assessments


Fisheries managers should really be attempting to manage the fishing fleets and the processing industry, not the fish. Consequently we argue that effective management ought to take an eco-systems approach that is necessarily interdisciplinary, incorporating both natural and social sciences. We ascribe the inadequate results of existing management regimes to scientific uncertainty, political pressures, the regulations' lack of legitimacy among fishers, and excessive reliance on individual fishers (rather than households and communities) as the unit of analysis. In a new interdisciplinary approach, we emphasize the contribution of social science in helping to understand what is defined as Scientific knowledge, how expert scientific and local or traditional knowledge might be integrated, and the role of science in the management process. We conclude by advocating an ecosystem management strategy of periodic (every three to five years) in-depth assessments with explicit requirements for sociological and economic input.