Declining fish stocks and expanding fishing fleets have combined with growing competition from aquaculture to put increased pressure on the fishing sector to adjust the size and nature of its operations in many countries. However, in some fishing communities, almost
sixty percent of jobs are linked to fishing and in many coastal areas, there are few alternative employment opportunities for fishers. The impacts of adjustment policies on fishers and fishing communities can thus be considerable, but these policies are generally focused
on reducing the number of vessels or the amount of fishing activity, and the "human side" is often treated as an afterthought. Fishers and their representatives may then feel that their only hope of defending their communities is to block any proposed changes.
Such concerns are sometimes regarded as one of the major reasons behind policy inertia in adjusting fishing activity. To address these issues, the OECD convened an Expert Meeting on the Human Side of Fisheries Adjustment to analyse the social issues and policy challenges that
arise from fisheries adjustment policies, and how OECD member countries are meeting those challenges. The meeting was organised as part of the Committee's ongoing project on "Fisheries Policy Reform" and sought to identify the key policy lessons for addressing the
human side of adjustment from reform experience in the fisheries sector.