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The fisheries governance tool: A practical and accessible approach to evaluating management systems

Jill H Swasey, Suzanne Iudicello, Graeme Parkes, Robert Trumble, Kara Stevens, Martha Silver and Cheri A Recchia

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 7, 1-17

Abstract: The Fisheries Governance Tool (FGT) is a comprehensive, evidence-based diagnostic tool that fishery managers, environmental organizations, funders, investors, and other key stakeholders can use to track progress against sustainability goals, identify gaps and challenges that impede continued improvement, and set targets for improvement. The diagnostic tool was developed following a thorough review of existing evaluation and assessment schemes and builds upon many of the credible and widely accepted guidelines and assessment tools currently available. It is built on the premise that the most comprehensive and informative measures of country or regional performance requires evaluation of evidence across three components: 1) the laws and policies governing fisheries, 2) the capacity to implement those policies, and 3) the functioning and performance of the fishery management system and fisheries. The Tool’s reliance on empirical evidence allows for an objective, repeatable and rigorous evaluation. Driving this work has been recognition of the importance of identifying and strengthening the enabling conditions for good fisheries management. The FGT offers a unique integrated evaluation of enabling factors and outcomes across the triple bottom line of ecological sustainability, economic efficiency and social/community well-being, with measures spanning a range of identifiable performance levels. Measures identify the building blocks of sound and durable management that lead to more sustainable and responsible fisheries. The Tool was refined through consultation with experts from around the world. The public version of the FGT can be downloaded and allows users to enter data and visualize the results, providing a diagnosis of their management system. The Tool is available in several languages.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253775

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