Nutritional security and our fisheries

Guest contribution from Dr. Stephen Hall

In titling our paper “Innovations in capture fisheries are an imperative for nutrition security in the developing world” readers of Small Scales will be under no illusion that the fisheries of Atlantic Canada are among those we consider.

Stephen Hall, PhD

Stephen Hall, PhD

And yet, as with so many problems, when you try to identify a broad set of principles that might lead to solutions, they are often more widely applicable than one might imagine.

I am no position to judge whether this wider applicability applies when you compare the small-scale fisheries of developing countries and those of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, but it is worth asking the question. What I am certain is common though, is a societal expectation that we make the most of the natural resources we possess and that their benefits are distributed equitably.

And to achieve that equity, I suspect that devolving the responsibility for management and decision-making to the level where the incentives for fisheries to meet the widest community objectives are highest is a universally applicable principle. Likewise, for fisheries reform and policy implementation to be successful, the need to give primacy to honest and inclusive stakeholder dialogue probably resonates with everyone.

I leave it to readers to judge how much the other findings and principles in our paper resonate for them and would love to hear their conclusions.

Dr. Stephen Hall is the Director General of the WorldFish Center,. He has published extensively on the structure and functioning of marine ecological systems, and has his own excellent blog here.

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