Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Cooperative Fisheries Research and Management

Cooperative Management in the Great Lakes: Exploring Characteristics of Success

Charles C. Krueger and Roy A. Stein

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569858.ch34

Our paper describes the unique nature of cooperative fishery research and management in the Great Lakes and formulates operational procedures based on our experiences that may be useful elsewhere.

To coordinate fisheries management in the Great Lakes, the eight Great Lakes states, the province of Ontario, two tribal fisheries agencies, and the federal governments of Canada and the United States have adopted “A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries” (joint strategic plan; GLFC 1997). First signed in 1981 and subsequently revised in 1989 and again in 1997, the joint strategic plan is the framework for fishery management decision making based on sound science and consensus. The goal statement of the joint strategic plan is

To secure fish communities, based on foundations of stable self-sustaining stocks, supplemented by judicious plantings of hatchery-reared fish, and provide from these communities an optimum contribution of fish, fishing opportunities and associated benefits to meet needs identified by society for: wholesome food, recreation, cultural heritage, employment and income, and a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

Four strategies were adopted to achieve this goal: ecosystem management, consensus, accountability, and information sharing. The philosophy underlying the joint strategic plan is that each of the Great lakes fishery management agencies has a share in the Great Lakes ecosystem and that, in the interest of the common good, management authorities must be cooperative to be effective, rather than unilateral in their actions.