Legislating for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries - Revisited: An Update of the 2011 Legal Study on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries

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The ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) is a risk-based management process for the planning, management, development, regulation and monitoring of fishing and fishing-related activities. EAF addresses ecological consequences of fishing as well as social, economic and institutional aspects of fisheries sustainability. Adequate legislation and regulatory frameworks are key to successful implementation of the EAF. The continuous review and update of information on legislation and regulatory instruments require the analysis of existing legal frameworks at all levels of governance, to assess whether they remain in force, valid and aligned with international fisheries law standards, including the EAF.

The present work was prepared with a view to provide current information on how the EAF is being implemented through national legal frameworks of selected countries in Africa. It revisits a previous legal study prepared by Anniken Skonhoft and published by FAO in 2011. A decade later, based on the scope of that study, the present work provides updated data and contributes to the knowledge on the current global and regional legal frameworks for an EAF, which are vital for EAF implementation purposes. This update also re-analysed certain countries' national legislation and their evolution with respect to capturing the EAF requirements. Ultimately, the present work supports the legal implementation of an EAF for a holistic, integrated and innovative way of managing fisheries that promotes the participation of all relevant stakeholders and the use of best available knowledge for decision making, whilst balancing the human dimensions with the care for the environment, habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity related with fishery resources on which they depend.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRome, Italy
Number of pages86
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameFAO EAF-Nansen Programme Report


  • ecosystem approach to fisheries
  • international law
  • national legislation
  • implementation


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