The Indian Ocean hosts a wide range of living resources including fish stocks. Marine resources contribute significantly to economies and livelihoods, and seafood is a major source of protein in Indian Ocean nations. Fisheries resources in the Indian Ocean have started showing symptoms of depletion. Several regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) have been established for sustainable management of the fisheries resources in the Indian Ocean region. These RFMOs were created at different times with various particular mandates, and in some cases prior to the emergence of contemporary scientific concepts and legal approaches to marine environmental governance. In this article, eight such RFMOs are studied to determine the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) and the precautionary approach (PA), which are now widely accepted norms of fisheries management and international law. This article argues that there is a mismatch between the legal and governance frameworks, and the fisheries science and management.
- Climate change
- Ecosystem-based fisheries management
- Indian Ocean
- Precautionary approach