Co-management represents a partnership in fisheries management between various entities including governments, agencies, non-government organisations and local people dependent on fisheries for their livelihoods and has been recognised as providing critical opportunities for successful fisheries management, particularly for small-scale fisheries. Co-management provides greater opportunity for management that is adapted to local needs and aspirations, with authority and responsibility for creating and enforcing rules placed, to a greater degree, with those who depend on them. Community-based management and co-management provide a greater opportunity for management that builds directly on existing local knowledge of resources and community needs. MRAG consultants appreciate that the implementation of successful community-based or co-management requires more than just knowledge of resource management but also encompasses community and economic development, capability building, and institutional support.
Our consultants have utilised a wide range of tools in promoting and implementing co-management schemes including exploring options of co-management that would lead to optimum success incorporating factors such as equity, compliance and wellbeing as well as developing models of adaptive co-management. MRAG has extensive in-country experience in delivering effective community-based and co-management and of evaluating the success of such systems. MRAG have developed innovative models for assessing performance across systems based upon multivariate analysis of key attributes, including Bayesian Network modelling, to diagnose strengths and weaknesses and identify key conditions for success. Other relevant services offered by MRAG incorporate:
- Short and long-term monitoring and analysis of community-based management performance;
- Training for stakeholders at different levels from the community through to local government;
- Establishment and support of co-management organisations such as ‘Beach Management Units’;
- Development of Rights-Based Fisheries Management (RBFM) systems;
- Development of fisheries management decision support tools to assist management decisions.