Coastal Fisheries Programme

A community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management:
Guidelines for Pacific Island countries

SPC's Coastal Fisheries Science and Management Section, in collaboration with FAO and The Nature Conservancy, has produced a new publication entitled "A community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management: guidelines for Pacific Island countries". These guidelines have been produced to describe how an EAF can be merged with community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in PICs.

This merger of approaches is referred to in these guidelines as the community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management (CEAFM), and represents a combination of three different perspectives; namely, fisheries management, ecosystem management and community-based management. CEAFM is the management of fisheries, within an ecosystem context, by local communities working with government and other partners.

The main requirement for such a merger is the involvement of a broader range of stakeholders and access to the expertise and experience of several government agencies in addition to a fisheries agency. CEAFM is not seen as a replacement for current fisheries management but an extension that combines a high degree of community and other stakeholder participation to minimise the impacts of fishing and other activities on ecosystems. In addition to fishing activities, coastal ecosystems in many PICs are affected by excessive shoreline development and by coastal waters that contain high levels of nutrients and silt.

CEAFM aims to involve the participation of community stakeholders to ensure that future generations of Pacific Island people will continue to have access to the benefits associated with sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems.

Download the complete publication:pdf_VerySmall pdf:


Table of contents:

1. Background

1.1 The purpose of these guidelines
1.2 A community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management
1.3 Coastal ecosystem issues of concern for PICs

2. Implementing a community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management

2.1 Set-up tasks for the promoting agency
2.2 The community involvement process
2.3 Formalising and implementing a community management plan
2.4 Monitoring performance; reviewing and adapting the plan

3. Requirements for the effective implementation of CEAFM

3.1 An appreciation of the vital role of marine ecosystems
3.2 The enforcement of existing regulations
3.3 Continuing community commitment
3.4 Cooperation between government agencies and other partners
3.5 Funding and staff requirements


©All rights for commercial / for profit reproduction or translation, in any form, reserved. The SPC authorises the partial reproduction or translation of this material for scientific, educational or research purposes, provided that SPC and the source document are properly acknowledged. Permission to reproduce the document and/or translate in whole, in any form, whether for commercial / for profit or non-profit purposes, must be requested in writing. Original SPC artwork may not be altered or separately published without permission.

   SPC Homepage | Copyright © SPC 2021