The necessity for response indicators in fisheries management

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Results are used from traditional fisheries management to explore two potential response indicators: (i) the extent to which scientific advice is incorporated in decision-making, and (ii) the compliance of industry and the relevant authorities to these decisions. Based on the most comprehensive set of data on the management process of 125 stocks for which ICES provided advice over the period 1987–2006, we explored these response indicators and found that for just 8% of the stocks, the official total allowable catch (TAC) equalled the scientific advice, and that in recent years the official TAC overshot scientific advice by >50%. Compliance levels appear to be reflected in the percentage of stocks for which landings exceeded the official TAC, decreasing from ~8 to 2%. However, because the TAC appears not to be limiting, compliance may not be the most appropriate indicator. Without transparent decision-making that takes scientific advice into account, or the compliance of industry as reflected by the type of response indicators explored, the effectiveness of new developments in fisheries management, such as the application of an ecosystem approach, will be compromised, as has been the case with conventional fisheries management measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-566
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • north-sea
  • community indicators
  • fish community
  • ecosystem
  • advice
  • impact
  • policy

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