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Implementing Existing Tools: Turning Words Into Actions – Decision-Making Processes of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs)

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

This paper deals with decision-making processes within those regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) with the capacity to adopt management measures respecting either straddling or highly migratory fish stocks. The perception is that the decisions emanating from RFMOs are not achieving the goal of sustainable management of the fish stocks. Concerns raised in this regard are the perceived: non-adherence of RFMO decisions to science; lack of timeliness in making decisions; ability of RFMO members to avoid certain decisions; and adoption of management decisions that are not sufficiently rigorous. This contribution does not seek to evaluate the validity of the perception, rather it explores the manner in which RFMO conventions (the constitutive texts of RFMOs) deal with the decision-making process by looking at the trends within RFMOs, the challenges that exist and suggests ways to meet the challenges.


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