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Words to Ponder: Serge Michel Garcia

August 16, 2011

Serge Michel Garcia, formerly the director of Fisheries Management at the FAO, writes on the prospects for implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in countries around the world.

The full-fledged  EAF, with its complete recognition of the systemic nature of fisheries, the close collaboration of natural and social sciences, and institutionalized adaptive learning has still to come, replacing the impossible quest for maximum or optimum production by a philosophy of risk minimization.  This process will take time.  It may be well advanced in less than a decade in countries where EAF is already in an advanced stage of implementation (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Iceland).  It may require at least two decades in the others, and it may never be achieved in countries where democracy is still a dream.  [Bold added]

This is from Garcia’s contribution in the Handbook of Marine Fisheries Conservation and Management. I think it’s interesting how he finds a connection between democracy (perhaps liberal democracy?) and better ocean management.

What do you think?  Do we need democracy to save the ocean?

For more from Garcia, check out this video of him talking on the future of fisheries and aquaculture:

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