Evaluating the theoretical and practical linkages between ecosystem-based fisheries management and fisheries co-management
Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) is increasingly recognized as the future of fisheries conservation and stewardship, appearing prominently in policy documents internationally. Although considerable progress has been made to translate EBFM from theory to practice, limited attention has been given to assessing the theoretical and practical linkages between EBFM and fisheries co-management. While EBFM and fisheries co-management are not new ideas, growing interest in both compels reflection on the interplay of these concepts, even though they have traditionally been viewed as disparate approaches. We report on the results of a literature review that explored the extent to which EBFM and fisheries co-management are linked. We describe the fundamental drivers, attributes, and desired outcomes commonly used to characterize these management concepts and quantify the degree of overlap in the literature. To illustrate how EBFM and co-management are integrated in practice, we present three examples. These examples highlight that these concepts exist on a continuum, with elements of co-management regularly appearing in conventional management regimes and elements of EBFM appearing in fisheries co-management initiatives.