Freshwater, Fish and the Future: Proceedings of the Global Cross-Sectoral Conference

Moving Towards Effective Governance of Fisheries and Freshwater Resources

Devin M. Bartley, Nancy J. Leonard, So-Jung Youn, William W. Taylor, Claudio Baigún, Chris Barlow, John Fazio, Carlos Fuentevilla, Jay Johnson, Bakary Kone, Kristin Meira, Rebecca Metzner, Paul Onyango, Dmitry Pavlov, Betsy Riley, Jim Ruff, Pauline Terbasket, and John Valbo-Jørgensen


Abstract .—Governance of fish, fisheries, and freshwater resources encompasses both ecological and human well-being. Nevertheless, achieving both is challenging because of the diverse sectors competing for finite resources. This challenge is not related to a lack of understanding of what contributes to effective governance, but rather is due to the tendency to divide freshwater resource users into sectors that do not coordinate their use of freshwater. A panel of experts identified six issues and recommendations for improving governance of inland fisheries. These issues are (1) the lack of cross-sectoral integration in the development and management agendas for freshwater ecosystems, (2) the need for governance mechanisms on shared water bodies, (3) the recognition of the rights and wishes of indigenous people and other stakeholders dependent on inland fisheries, (4) recognizing the important role of aquaculture and how to incorporate aquaculture into governance mechanisms, (5) how to improve fishery management, and (6) how to improve communication among institutions and stakeholders.