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Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem—Governance and Management for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in the Region

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This article examines the current status of management in the Benguela Current Large Marine ecosystem and the three coastal states in which it occurs: Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. The three countries have all focused on conventional approaches to fisheries management, concentrating on target species, and management has been largely centrally controlled. They have nevertheless made some progress toward addressing wider ecosystem issues. Scientific capacity has been generally good and scientific advice plays an important role in management decisions although the management capability varies between the countries. All have sufficient capability for ensuring sustainable fisheries but there are skills shortages in some areas. Based largely on a recent project to evaluate the feasibility of implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries in the region, the article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the current management approaches and identifies areas of concern. Limitations and threats to capacity, particularly in production of scientific advice and in management functions, are considered a major problem.

Keywords: capacity; ecosystem approach; governance; large marine ecosystem; management; policies

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy 2: Marine and Coastal Management, Cape Town, South Africa 3: CAPFISH, Cape Town, South Africa 4: Instituto Nacional de Investigacao Pesqueira, Luanda, Angola 5: Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Swakopmund, Namibia 6: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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