Ecosystem-based management

The governance and management of New Zealand’s marine systems is very fragmented, with decisions made sector-by-sector or issue-by-issue. We need an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.

A key aspect of such an approach is that it recognises the economic, social and cultural interests of all stakeholders in a fishery, and how these affect management decisions. This makes the approach likely to succeed and be sustainable, where many other initiatives have failed.

In 2005, the Ministry of Fisheries outlined its approach to ecosystem-based management. However, while some initiatives to deal with specific environmental issues have been put in place (such as observer programmes, and marine mammal bycatch limits), these have still been reactive and uncoordinated.

What we are doing
WWF-New Zealand is encouraging the New Zealand Government to adopt an ecosystem-based management approach, based on policies and regulations co-ordinated across the Oceanic region.

Ecosystem-based Management of Fisheries

Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) is central to all of WWF's conservation work. The overall aim of implementing EBM in marine fisheries is to find new, innovative forms of management that conserve fish populations, don’t harm other marine species, protect the structure and function of marine ecosystems, and support sustainable fisheries and the fishers that depend on them.

Learn more about the Ecosystem-based Management approach in marine capture fisheries.