Policies and measures: The Samoa Fisheries Extension and Training Project has discovered that the best solution for controlling fishing activities in the Pacific Island countries is not the enforcement of national command and control policies, but to allow fishing villages to manage and control the fishing activities themselves.
Background in summary:
Command and control does not work in the case of PICs: Coral Reefs throughout the world are declining at an alarming rate. There are multiple causes, including global warming, destructive fishing practices, overfishing, and pollution from land-based sources. Making laws and regulations to control small scale commercial and subsistence fishing has had a history of absolute failure.
Community participation and self-control is the solution: Without the understanding and willing support of the village people there is no possibility of management of coastal resources. In recognition of this need, AusAID funded The Samoa Fisheries Extension and Training Project. The project is one of the most innovative and successful examples of community/government partnerships for coastal fisheries management in the Pacific region.
Project officers can assist village people only through advice giving: The project began in 1995. Project personnel met with Village Councils and explained the need for local management. They can provide scientific advice, training and other assistance to help people learn ways to protect the marine environment. The Division will not do things for people but will assist people to do things for themselves.
Village people formulate their own management plan: By 1998, 54 villages had joined the plan. Many had created and approved fisheries management plans. The plans include bans on use of explosives and chemicals, a reserve area, recognition of size limits and other restrictions.
The key to a successful village fisheries management plan: is having the villagers develop their own management plan because they understand the issues and wish to protect their own fishery resources. If they have other motivations (expecting foreign aid or free goods and services) the project will not succeed.
See document in full