Possible Solution to Overfishing
“co-management” — a collaborative arrangement between local communities, conservation groups, and governments — provides a solution to a vexing global problem: overfishing. The finding is the outcome of the largest field investigation of co-managed tropical coral reef fisheries ever conducted, an effort in which researchers studied 42 managed reef systems in five countries.
“We found clear evidence of people’s ability to overcome the ‘tragedy of the commons’ by making and enforcing their own rules for managing fisheries,” explains team leader Dr. Josh Cinner of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, Australia. “This is particularly encouraging because of the perceived failure of many open-access and top-down government-controlled attempts to manage fisheries around the world. More importantly, we have identified the conditions that allow people to make co-management successful, providing vital guidance for conservation groups, donors, and governments as to what arrangements are most likely to work.”