IIFET Special Session: RFMOs

We need to shake up the way we manage shared fish stocks. Climate change, catch shares, and privatization are all proving too much for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to keep up with. In this special session, speakers will present on how different RFMOs are or are not rising to the challenge of operationalizing the next generation of RFMO governance. 

Currently seeking abstract submissions for a special session at the 2018 IIFET conference: Next generation RFMO governance: Climate change, allocations, and privatization, oh my! Conference will be in Seattle July 16-20, see http://iifet2018.org/ for more info and email me with any questions (megan.bailey@dal.ca). RFMO-map

Although formalized under the 1995 UN Fish Stock Agreement, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) have been the management mechanism for shared fish stocks for almost one hundred years. There are merits of, and necessity in, a cooperative institution that allows management to span jurisdictions for fish such as cod, salmon, halibut, and tuna, fish that are transboundary, straddling, or highly migratory. But the archaic nature of the UN state-based system, on which RFMO management is founded, is proving insufficient in dealing with topical issues in fisheries governance, namely climate change, catch allocations, and increasing privatization of sustainability metrics and approaches. RFMOs are but amalgamations of individual states, and in most cases, states themselves have not incorporated climate change dynamics into their fisheries management plans. What hope then for RFMOs? How and where does cooperative management in the face of climate change work? RFMOs have also by and large failed to appropriately deal with catch allocations, which is unsurprising given that individual members states have drastically different interests in the various species and gears in any RFMO. How and where could things like equity and socio-economic dependence be incorporated into RFMO allocation frameworks? Finally, private interests, such as certifications and powerful mid-supply chain actors, are increasingly governing the practices of RFMOs. How and where are private market forces being used to better RFMO management, and where are we at risk of losing out on public autonomy? In this special session, speakers will present on how different RFMOs are or are not rising to the challenge of operationalizing the next generation of RFMO governance.  

This open session invites speakers from any institution studying any RFMO in theory or in practice to offer insights from their work.  The three proposed topic areas here, climate change, allocations, and privatization are but starting points, and we welcome additional contributions on what should be part of the next generation of RFMO governance.  Speakers will be asked to prepare a presentation in the style of PechaKucha, whereby 20 slides make up the presentation, and each slide is shown for 20 seconds. A total of 7-9 speakers would be ideal. The goal of this session is to amalgamate a wide variety of examples from many parts of the world and dealing with many different RFMO issues, and thus the PechaKucha format allows for several pointed presentations to occur within just one session. 



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The Marine Affairs Program

The Marine Affairs Program (MAP) at Dalhousie University provides an inquiring and stimulating interdisciplinary learning environment to advance the sustainable use of the world’s diverse coastal and ocean environments.

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