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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs)

I'm occasionally asked why we don't directly support communities in the management of fisheries.

Well we do strongly endorse the involvement of communities in the management of local fisheries, but we don't want to duplicate assistance in an area of comparative advantage for NGOs and other national or local organisations. The main strength of the regional SPC Coastal Fisheries Programme is working with our main stakeholders - government fisheries departments - and helping governments to get institutional and legal systems in place that make community, traditional and locally-managed marine areas possible, or more effective.

SPC works on the setting up of frameworks, the provision of scientific information, and inter-country networking. LMMAs work on helping people in actually activating management processes - and this is likely to require a different approach in every area. The ecosystem approach to fishery management - our new objective - is based on how you look at the goals or outcomes that society wants from the ecosystem, not just from the fishery.

And there are many different possible routes to achieving that ecosytem goal - probably as many different routes as there are islands in the Pacific.

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