A decade of the Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries in South Africa, 2005-2015

Image by Thomas P. Peschak

The month of August in 2015 marked the 10th year since the implementation of an Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries (EAF). The South African Research Chair in Marine Ecology & Fisheries, WWF-South Africa and the Responsible Fisheries Alliance hosted a workshop to review the progress made on implementing the EAF and identified areas to be improved.

Four key themes were looked into; fisheries bycatch, top predator-fishery interactions, small-scale fisheries and spatial management of fisheries. Various groups in the workshop identified and prioritised actions which are found in the report paper. The Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries is based on three dimensions namely; ecological well-being, human well-being and ability to achieve. During the workshop it was highlighted that the ‘ability to achieve’ and better understanding of the linkages between all dimensions needed to be improved. This new concept promoted positive interaction among diverse groups within the workshop.

The need for continued integration and coordination of the complex EAF implementation process was highlighted in a panel discussion and it was agreed upon that there should be regular workshops such as this one in order to fulfill the coordinating role in the implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries in South Africa.

For more information on the review, please find the attached detailed report below.