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Incorporating ecologically sustainable development policy goals within fisheries management: an assessment of integration and coherence in an Australian context


Farmery, AK and Ogier, E and Gardner, C and Jabour, J, Incorporating ecologically sustainable development policy goals within fisheries management: an assessment of integration and coherence in an Australian context, Journal of Environmental Management, 249 Article 109230. ISSN 0301-4797 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.07.001


Managing fisheries to meet social, economic and ecological objectives is a fundamental problem encountered in fisheries management worldwide. In Australia, fisheries management involves a complex set of national and sub-national policy arrangements, including those designed to deliver against ecologically sustainable development (ESD) objectives. The complex policy framework makes ensuring policy coherence and avoiding unintended consequences difficult, particularly where potential trade-offs are not made explicit. Coherence, or potential policy weakness, of Australian fisheries management in relation to ESD objectives was examined in a subset of Australian wild capture fisheries, at national and jurisdictional scales. Coherent policy frameworks with ESD objectives were found to be more likely at the legislative-level across jurisdictions (horizontal coherence), than other levels of implementation. Many fisheries had problems demonstrating coherence between legislation and management plans due to lack of inclusion of ESD policy themes at management and operational levels. Case studies revealed substantial variation in the likelihood for horizontal and vertical coherence between fisheries policy frameworks managing the same species. The lack of explicit ESD objectives observed in many Australian fisheries suggests a high likelihood of incoherence in fisheries management, or alternatively that managers may be informally persuing higher levels of policy coordination and coherence than can be detected. Lack of detectability of coherence is problematic for demonstrating accountability and transparency in decision-making and public policy. Furthermore, use of discretion by managers when developing management plans, in order to overcome policy weakness, may lead to drifts in individual management direction within a jurisdiction.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:policy analysis, internal coherence, sub-national fisheries management, legislative objectives, public policy
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught rock lobster
UTAS Author:Ogier, E (Dr Emily Ogier)
UTAS Author:Gardner, C (Professor Caleb Gardner)
UTAS Author:Jabour, J (Dr Julia Jabour)
ID Code:134741
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2019-09-02
Last Modified:2020-08-06

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