The Increasing Necessity for Co-management

Political Perspective: The Increasing Necessity for Co-management

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The effects that politics have in sustainable fisheries can benefit both fishermen and the fishery. In many ways, attaining sustainable fisheries can only be accomplished by co-management. Co-management in coastal fisheries is the equal responsibility in fishery planning and decision making by federal, state, or local governments and the fishermen who use the waters and are effected by laws. Co-management allows for a closeness between state and federal governments and the fishers because both groups are working towards a common goal, even though they may have different motives. Many times misunderstandings between ideals lead fishermen to believe that government officials do not care what happens to their livelihood or their fisheries. The decrease in relative distance between government officials and fishermen can increase the amount of trust between the two parties, where officials are actually viewing what is occurring at the docks and not solely basing their judgements on reports by other people. In this way, co-management can strengthen the trust between parties and government officials know what is really occurring and viewing it personally. This can increase the efficiency in policy making, which usually is the major problem, because parties will know the people involved personally and their respective lifestyle. When agreeing on quotas and various buy back programs, it is possible to have both fishermen and government officials find what is best for the fishermen and for sustaining the fishery.

In today's planning for sustainable fisheries, there needs to be a connection between who is making the decisions and who is working under these conditions. If there is no connection, this could lead to the misalocations of government funds, goods in the fishery, or institution of strict quotas, by fishersmen standards, under which the fishermen think they cannot make a decient living. This leads fishermen into acting in their own "right" for self preservation through piracy, thus breaking the laws and increasing the distrust between government officials and fishermen. The destruction of the fishery is inevitable if co-management is not institutionalized throughout the US and the world. The effects of co-management leads to sustainable fisheries through stronger ties between policy makers and the fishermen who try to keep their continuing lifestyle.

Political perspective of case studies:
The Chesapeake Blue Crabs fisheries
Gloucester groundfisheries
Alaksa's Salmon fisheries

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