University of Tasmania
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Legal frameworks and the use of science in regional fisheries management organisations

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:59 authored by MIdson, DW
This thesis compares the role of science in the decision making processes and legal frameworks of a selection of regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) in order to understand the features of those frameworks which influence their use of science. The RFMOs analysed are the six largest non-tuna RFMOs, the: ‚Äö Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, ‚Äö South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation, ‚Äö General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, ‚Äö Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, ‚Äö North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, and ‚Äö South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. Each of these RFMOs enshrines science as the key input into fisheries management. However the thesis shows that there are variations between them regarding the consistency with which they followed the advice of their scientific advisors. These variations have enabled a comparison of both the legal frameworks and the decision making records of each body. The thesis submits that both the ability of the decision maker to take decisions in the absence of scientific consensus (or in the face of scientific uncertainty) and, transparency in the decision making process, are important factors which increase the effectiveness of the use of science in the decision making process. The comparative analysis conducted in the thesis has allowed the suggestion of modifications that could be made to RFMO legal frameworks in order to strengthen the ability of scientific advisors to provide salient advice, thereby improving quality and transparency in decision making processes.


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