Evaluating Spatial Management on the High Seas: A Performance Review of Fisheries Closures and Marine Protected Areas

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2022-04-22

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Abstract

As the United Nations continues to negotiate a legally binding treaty for the conservation of biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, many argue that a governance gap will be created if species managed by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and non-target species impacted by fisheries are left unaccounted for. RFMOs are currently unlikely to be affected or held to a higher standard in the new treaty as not to “undermine current legal and regulatory frameworks”. However, the last comprehensive assessment RFMOs, completed in 2010 by Sarika Cullis-Suzuki and Daniel Pauley, concluded that RFMOs were failing to manage high seas fisheries. This review provides an updated performance assessment of how well RFMOs manage fish stocks in areas beyond national jurisdiction through closures and protected areas, a criterion that was not thoroughly reviewed in 2010 due to spatial management not being part of the requirements of RFMOs at the time. The spatial management review is a component of a more extensive comprehensive performance review of the seventeen RFMOs by a team of researchers at Duke University, NYU, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre led by Duke Marine Lab Ph.D. student Gabrielle Carmine. Furthermore, this review highlights vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) as a case study to provide insight into the management regimes and decision-making processes of RFMOs, given that bottom fishing organizations scored highest in the spatial management review.

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Tuohy, Chelsea (2022). Evaluating Spatial Management on the High Seas: A Performance Review of Fisheries Closures and Marine Protected Areas. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/24878.


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