Getting the right management in place | WWF

Getting the right management in place

Fishing boats mored in North Head, Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy New Brunswick Canada
© WWF Canada
WWF promotes a wide range of management measures to ensure the maintenance of healthy stocks and the recovery of depleted fish populations. 

WWF advocates for robust management of fisheries that ensure healthy fish stocks and help reduce the impacts of fishing on marine life.

The underlying base for our fisheries work is ecosystem-based management (EBM)EBM aims to achieve sustainable exploitation of natural resources by balancing the social and economic needs of human communities with the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. This includes scientific and precautionary stock management as well as measures to minimize bycatch and damage to marine habitats.

Our work to reduce overfishing, through EBM, includes:
  • advocating for strong precautionary, science-based management
  • creating incentives for improved management, as well as,   
  • implementing "Rights-Based Management". RBM is a tool that basically defines the right to use fisheries resources and that has proven to halt and even reverse the global trend toward overfishing by allocating individual fishing rights to fishermen, vessels, entreprises, communities or cooperatives, incorporating environmental and social indicators.


Rights-based management

  • defines the rights to use fisheries resources 
  • can be allocated individually or collectively
  • has a value and can be traded (eg. catch limits, fishing licence, quota...)
  • exist in most EU member states
	© Oyvind Mikalsen

Improving fisheries management

Long-lasting improvements to fisheries management need to be underpinned by clear policy changes. WWF is working to transform regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) so that they can take sound policy decisions and adopt practices that help reduce overfishing, illegal fishing and bycatch practices.

WWF is present in 11 RFMOs around the world to help provide scientific data and advocate for effective governance, monitoring and control measures that will lead to sustainable fishing, ensuring long-term healthy stocks.

Find out more here. 

What are RFMOs?

RFMOs bring fishing nations together to manage and monitor fish stocks and the impact of fishing a specific region of the oceans 

However, this powerful tool to manage fisheries has generally not been exercised and many fish populations are still in decline.

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