Effectively managing fish stocks for the long term requires experience, science, and advance planning. Harvest strategies, an innovative approach, combines those elements and more, providing fisheries managers a clear framework for determining science-based, precautionary measures for fish stocks. Also known as management procedures, harvest strategies move managers away from yearly, and at times contentious, quota negotiations to a set of pre-agreed rules geared towards fostering long-term sustainability and profitability of fisheries.
Harvest strategies have proved to be far more effective than traditional management methods, replacing short-term, profits-focused decision-making with swift, efficient, and stable oversight that is designed to balance tradeoffs among management objectives for both the species and socioeconomic dimensions of the fishery. This scientific approach also better accounts for the variable and uncertain environments in which fisheries operate.
This animation from The Ocean Foundation explains harvest strategies, including how they are developed to achieve a long-term vision for a stock and the fisheries that target it.
Rachel Hopkins leads The Pew Charitable Trusts’ advocacy to improve the management of international fisheries by regional fisheries management organizations.