Pacific Salmon: Ecology and Management of Western Alaska’s Populations

Sustaining Salmon Fisheries: the Challenge of Collaborative Management

Susan Hanna


Abstract.—The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) Salmon Research and Restoration Program explicitly recognizes the integration of human dimensions with salmon ecosystems. This paper addresses the collaborative management approach to integration by summarizing how collaborative processes work and how they influence management performance. Collaborative fishery management includes stakeholders in a number of management functions such as data collection, research, planning, design, decision-making, monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement. This approach is included in the general category of “co-management,” which refers to the sharing of authority and responsibility among government and stakeholders. Co-management is a process, rather than a tool, of management. The direct involvement of stakeholders in the planning and control of their fisheries offers the potential of improving the performance of fishery management in promoting sustainability. Realizing the potential depends on the extent to which key co-management principles are addressed. These principles relate to three management components: background conditions in the fishery, management structure, and management operations. Background conditions that affect the performance of co-management include uncertainty, history, and context. Elements of fishery structure relating to co-management performance include boundaries, scale, representation, and participation. Fishery management operations influence co-management performance through stability and flexibility, cost effectiveness, and equity. The principles underlie co-management performance through the effect they have on transaction costs and incentives. Columbia River salmon recovery provides a good example of the influence of transaction costs and uncertainty on collaborative management and resource recovery. The complexity of Columbia River Basin co-management includes scale, fragmentation, scientific uncertainty, and legacy. These variables lead to co-management research suggestions for the AYK Salmon Research and Restoration Program.