Tools, Approaches, and Best Practices for Scaling Sustainable Coastal Fisheries Management

To meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and secure livelihoods for growing coastal populations in a changing world, it is clear that we must rapidly increase the scale and pace of improvements in sustainable coastal fisheries management. In this session, we will gather experts and stakeholders to discuss current efforts and exchange lessons learned from research, projects, and initiatives aimed at bringing coastal fisheries management tools, approaches, and best practices to scale. The session will feature recent and ongoing work from projects in the Western Indian Ocean region, the West Africa region, the Pacific Islands region, and the Philippines, as well as that of local, regional, and global organizations and initiatives.


Peter Freeman, University of Rhode Island, [email protected]

Blue Economy and Its Impacts on Small-Scale Fisheries: Moving Towards Just and Equitable Ocean Use and Protection 

A critical challenge facing our growing human population on this primarily ocean-covered planet is how to equitably and justly manage, use, and protect marine resources across local, national, regional, and global scales. The concept of a “blue economy” has been gaining momentum and financial resources in global and national forums over the last decade; however, its conception, definition, and implementation have been dangerously incomplete and myopic to date. The efforts currently undertaken in the name of Blue Economy typically ignore both the life cycles of marine species as well as the human beings whose way of life is most closely connected to the ocean, such as small-scale and artisanal fishing communities. This roundtable discussion will explore how we can ensure that a holistic view is used to implement ocean activities rather than an exclusively economic view so that the most vulnerable groups of marine resource users are not harmed.

Given that the 8th World Fisheries Congress highlighted “securing sustainable small-scale fisheries and equitable access to resources” as a key issue in the proceedings, this session aims to advance the conversation through a robust and well-rounded discussion of developing justice-focused ocean use, management, and protection processes from the small-scale fisheries perspective. This sector is also a prime segment to consider for guaranteeing human rights, workforce safety and gender equality, which were also key issues that the 8th World Fisheries Congress highlighted as requiring attention.

The session will bring together diverse speakers from the legal, policy, scientific, and small-scale fishing sector perspectives to share experiences relating to the impacts of blue economy efforts from different geographies and sociopolitical contexts. They will set the stage for an open dialogue among all participants regarding key issues that small-scale fisheries face at the intersection of food, water, energy, tourism and conservation issues, and highlight how a justice-minded lens and a human rights based approach can help improve policy, science, and livelihoods. The session aims to draw out both commonalities and differences among the examples, and to generate a forward-looking conversation that advances our thinking about the potential solution-space to achieve a more just and equitable future over the near-term that more successfully incorporates fisher and community participation and empowers their voices across regional and international platforms.


Melissa Garren, ELAW, [email protected]

Ecosystem-based Management in Multi-species and Environmentally Dynamic Fisheries

The effects of climate change on marine ecosystems are accelerating and projections indicate that fish production will be further affected within the relatively short term (e.g. 10 years), to the point where management advice that doesn’t consider this change could be rendered invalid. South East Australia is considered a climate change hot-spot and is home to a number of important commercial fisheries, including one of Australia’s most valuable multi-species and multi-gear fisheries – the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESF).

Recently, the SESSF has been the focus of two important initiatives that will each be the focus of a 90-minute round table session. Relevant background is provided at each of the links.

Session 1 (1400-1530): Formal integration of climate risk in the decision-making process (Discussion Paper).

Session 2 (1600-1730): Transition to a multi-species fishery harvest strategy for the SESSF (Discussion Paper).

Each session will commence with a high-level overview of both projects and seek feedback from roundtable participants to strengthen AFMA’s Climate Risk Integration Framework and transition to a multi-species harvest strategy.


Daniel Corrie, Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), [email protected]

Providing Mobile Tools to Report Activity and Scientific Data for Both Inshore Commercial and Recreational Fishers

This session is intended to explore the challenges and opportunities that exist in providing mobile tools to report activity and capture scientific catch and effort data for both inshore commercial and recreational fishers. The nature of inshore and recreational fishing generally means that the ability to have bulky electronic reporting tools doesn’t exist and alternative approaches need to be found. Using fisher mobile devices has enabled the development of highly sophisticated tools to capture data, submit  activity reports and to educate the fishers aiding them in fishing in a compliant manner. The key point being…. tools using fisher mobile devices rather than specific hardware or technology can provide highly sophisticated  solutions that integrate with existing scientific, administration and compliance systems whilst delivering fishers rich data and educational material for their personal use.


John Heskins, Spatial Vision, [email protected]

Market-Based Tools for a Global Sustainable Seafood Future: Solutions for Addressing Equity, Inclusion and Transferability

This session will discuss the transferability of tools in the sustainable seafood movement, examining the challenges, successes, lessons learned and unsolved problems of implementers. Experts will discuss how systems designed in developed Western nations may challenge implementation in developing countries, non-Western geographies, or outside industrial fisheries. The goals will be to consider how issues that impact inclusion – language, culture, religion, nationalism, corruption, gender, literacy, voice and others, have challenged implementation across diverse systems. Do certain tools face enthusiasm versus resistance and why? How can we consolidate knowledge to make efficient use of resources, more accurately foresee challenges and precipitate wins in the field? This panel and the subsequent discussion will be designed to be an honest, forthright – and we hope also humorous – look at the hard work of designers and implementers who have problem-solved successfully, or continue to innovate, to embrace the diverse realities of sustainable seafood.

Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches for Understanding Recreational Fishers

Understanding recreational fishers is challenging.  We united experts in social and ecological sciences to produce an edited book focused on disciplinary and interdisciplinary overviews of attitudes and behaviors of recreational fishers.  This book educates users on state-of-the art methods for engaging fishers in support of social sciences, for quantifying and predicting fisher behaviours, for understanding outcomes of fisher behaviours, and for fully integrating social-science data into fisheries management…all in the hopes of better management of complex social-ecological systems.  We will bring together authors in three separate panel discussions (each focused on a distinct section of this book) to help social scientists and ecologists understand how they can engage each other for more meaningful research and deeper understanding of people and recreational activities.  These discussions are suitable for on-the-ground managers without formal training in social science and for research scientists developing programs in human dimensions of wildlife and fisheries.


Kevin Pope, U.S. Geological Survey—Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, [email protected]
Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center
Brett van Poorten, Simon Fraser University
Robert Arlinghaus, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Defining Indicators for the Ten Steps to Responsible Inland Fisheries

The 2015 global conference, Freshwater, fish, and the future – cross-sectoral approaches to sustain livelihoods, food security, and aquatic ecosystems produced a forward-looking call-to-action characterized by the 2015 Rome Declaration’s “Ten Steps to Responsible Inland Fisheries.”  We would like to facilitate an interactive discussion session with tables for participants would rotate in small groups to discuss each of the Ten Steps and suggest recommendations for indicators of progress.  The aim of this session would be to solicit feedback from the broad audience of the WFC to serve as the foundation for an action plan for global inland fisheries.


Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center, [email protected]
Devin Bartley, Michigan State University
T. Douglas Beard, USGS-NCASC
Steven Cooke, Carleton University
Ian Cowx, Hull International Fisheries Institute
Simon Funge-Smith, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Sui Phang, The Nature Conservancy
William Taylor, Michigan State University

Bringing Salmon Back From The Brink

Salmon are central to the economic, cultural, and spiritual existence and identity of peoples who live, work, and play in the temperate regions of our planet. oday, salmon populations distributed in lower latitudes struggle to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. Concurrently, populations in higher latitudes are shifting their range to compensate for loss of optimal habitat, resulting in reorganizations of trophic pathways and community interactions. The proposed program will feature talks related to salmon ecology, hatchery production, adaptive management, stock assessment, and indigenous knowledge addressing the challenges, opportunities, and case studies needed to ensure persistence of these populations for future generations. In this session, a diverse group of scientists, traditional knowledge keepers, and policy-makers will share their perspectives regarding the what, why, and how we can care for these remarkable species in an increasingly uncertain climate.


Gary Morishima, Quinault Management Center, [email protected]

Aquaculture-aided Fisheries Enhancement, Conservation, and Restoration: Towards Responsible Development and Effective Reform

Aquaculture-aided fisheries enhancement, conservation, and restoration initiatives have long been pursued worldwide and are receiving renewed attention in the context of adaptation to global environmental change. Experience with such initiatives shows that, while some make important contributions to fisheries management and conservation, others are ineffective, damaging, or have not been evaluated, yet continue regardless. Therefore, careful and responsible approaches to developing new and reforming existing initiatives are needed, balancing opportunity and need with appropriate caution, rigorous evaluation, and adaptive management. Rapid advances in scientific understanding and availability of powerful planning and assessment tools put such approaches within reach, but their practical implementation has proved extraordinarily challenging. This roundtable brings together a diverse international panel of aquaculture, fisheries management, conservation, and governance scientists and practitioners to grapple with the question: How can we work towards more effective implementation of responsible approaches to aquaculture-aided fisheries enhancement, conservation, and restoration?


Kai Lorenzen, University of Florida, [email protected]
Seth White, Oregon Hatchery Research Center/Oregon State University
Hannah Harrison, Dalhousie University
Neil Loneragan, Murdoch University

A Synoptic Framework for Assessing Synergies and Tradeoffs between Decarbonization Solutions and Fishery Ecosystems

This session invites participants to apply their knowledge to practical problem solving by contributing to a resource that will guide decarbonization planners and policy makers in harmonizing emissions-reductions objectives with the objective of supporting fishery ecosystems and the services that depend on them. Participants will review and assemble input collected through an expert elicitation exercise to develop a synoptic framework that qualitatively assesses the known and potential tradeoffs and synergies between a wide range of decarbonization solutions (e.g., emissions reductions in the energy, transportation, agriculture, and industrial sectors, as well as land-based, ocean-based, and engineering-based carbon removal practices) and the ocean, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems that support fishery-related ecosystem services (food provision, livelihood, traditional cultural value, and recreation).


Sarah Schumann, Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting, [email protected]
Patrick Sullivan, Cornell University
Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Linda Behnken, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association
Alison Bates, Colby College