1) Fishery Management
2) Status of harvested fish populations
3) Ecosystem impacts of fishing
The essential foundation for producing
sustainable seafood is an effective fish-
ery management system.
It must have
a mandate to manage for sustainability.
It must have an adaptive management
plan that relies on the best available
science and stakeholder input. Manage-
ment decisions must be tempered with
a precautionary approach to account
for uncertainty. The performance of a
fishery management system is judged
by setting management goals, regular
assessments of the status of the fish
population, limiting adverse fishery
impacts on the ocean ecosystem and
monitoring the effectiveness of
corrective management actions that
are taken. Done effectively, managing
for sustainability is a dynamic process,
requiring periodic course adjustments
to keep the fish harvest within sustain-
See Figure 2
To be successful, there must be
1) fishery level objectives, 2) a fishery
management plan with bycatch and
ecosystem impacts monitored and
mitigated and 3) verification that the
fishery is meetings its objectives by
responding to the best available science
and scientists’ recommendations.
A weak management foundation
makes seafood unsustainable.
Buying seafood based on the lowest
price may have more unseen and
unintended environmental costs.
Seafood products are unsustainable
when produced in poorly studied,
monitored and managed fisheries with
weak management foundations that
are incapable of ensuring sustainability
and responsible fishing practices. The
key is to know something about the
management foundation and its perfor-
mance record of successfully balancing
the fish harvest while maintaining the
fish population and controlling ecosys-
tem impacts of fishing.
See Figure 3
A strong management
foundation makes Hawaii
Hawaii Seafood is sustainable.
from vessels that operate within an
exemplary fishery management system.
A series of leading-edge precautionary
conservation measures have been
implemented that make it a model
for sustainable fishery management.
Hawaii open ocean longline fisheries
for tuna, swordfish and the other
associated fish species are rigorously
managed for sustainability by the
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Fisheries
Service and the Western Pacific Regional
Fishery Management Council.
Hawaii Seafood products are produced
in fisheries that meet the 10 National
Standards for Conservation and
Sustainable Management required
by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery