Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institut für Agrar- und Gartenbauwissenschaften

Reconciling traditional inland fisheries management and sustainability in industrialized countries, with emphasis on Europe

In northern industrialized countries, the inland ¢sheries sector has long been dominated by recreational ¢sheries, which normally exploit ¢sh for leisure or subsistence and provide many (poorly investigated) bene¢ts to society. Various factors constrain the development and existence of inland ¢sheries, such as local user con£icts, low social priority and inadequate research and funding. In many cases, however, degradation of the environment and loss of aquatic habitat are the predominant concerns for the sustainability of inland ¢sheries.The need for concerted e¡ort to prevent and reduce environmental degradation, as well as conservation of freshwater ¢sh and ¢sheries as renewable common pool resources or entities in their own right is the greatest challenge facing sustainable development of inland waters. In inland ¢sheries management, the declining quality of the aquatic environment coupled with long-term inadequate and often inappropriate ¢sheries management has led to an emphasis on enhancement practices, such as stocking, to mitigate anthropogenic stress. However, this is not always the most appropriate management approach. Therefore, there is an urgent need to alter many traditional inland ¢sheries management practices and systems to focus on sustainable development. This paper reviews the literature regarding the inputs needed for sustainability of inland ¢sheries in industrialized countries. To understand better the problems facing sustainable inland ¢sheries management, the inland ¢sheries environment, its bene-¢ts, negative impacts and constraints, as well as historical management, paradigms, trends and current practices are described. Major philosophical shifts, challenges and promising integrated management approaches are envisaged in a holistic framework. The following are considered key elements for sustainable development of inland ¢sheries: communication, information dissemination, education, institutional restructuring, marketing outreach, management plans, decision analysis, socioeconomic evaluation and research into the human dimension, in addition to traditional biological and ecological sciences. If these inputs are integrated with traditional ¢sheries management practices, the prospects for sustainability inthe inland ¢sheries will be enhanced.