In response to the shortcomings of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, the European Commission has suggested regionalising fisheries management. Examples already exist of the more decentralised management of certain fisheries. Since 2007, the Commission has requested national eel management plans (EMPs) from all EU eel-fishing nations, giving national management bodies considerable freedom to develop their own EMPs. To examine the prerequisites for decentralisation, the Swedish EMP was chosen as a case. The European eel is critically endangered due to overfishing and environmental degradation. Analysis of the Swedish EMP reveals serious flaws: the conflict between the objectives of species and fishery preservation has not been clarified nor is the prioritisation clear. The plan has not been critically reviewed and alternative options are not considered. Though the basic data are uncertain, this uncertainty is viewed as support for not adopting any safety margin. Management is therefore directed towards mitigating the negative effects of fishing and other human activities rather than realising the conservation objective. The efficiency of the various protection measures is also disputable; for example, translocation is problematic, as translocated (i.e., stocked) eels display impaired navigational abilities. Another problematic aspect of this conservation strategy is the slow implementation of the EMP. In conclusion, this study emphasises the necessity of legal and social science as well as natural science research to evaluate the efficiency and implementation of fishery management.
LANTBRUKSVETENSKAPER -- Lantbruksvetenskap, skogsbruk och fiske -- Fisk- och akvakulturforskning (hsv//swe)
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES -- Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries -- Fish and Aquacultural Science (hsv//eng)
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Juridik -- Juridik och samhälle (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Law -- Law and Society (hsv//eng)