Steven Mackinson’s Blog: Lessons learned from New Zealand

Steve lived in New Zealand for six months to spend time with the Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC). This experience has helped Steve better understand how the Council successfully brings scientists and fishermen together, through promoting industry’s involvement in research, data analysis and policy advice. You can see all his blog posts here.

It’s easy for New Zealander’s to be self-critical about how well they are doing at involving stakeholders in fisheries science and management, but my observations reveal that there is much for them to be proud of.

Based at Seafood NZ, for the last 5 months, I’ve been observing meetings and talking with scientists, commercial stakeholders and Ministry managers throughout New Zealand. So what have I found?  Well, I’ve learned a lot more than is easy to capture in words. But one thing is clear: NZs takes the collaborative approach seriously. Everyone I’ve asked thinks it’s been the right way to go.  I’ve heard a lot about how things have evolved, the ups and downs, and what it takes to make things work well, but I’m especially pleased to have seen it working in practice.

On Monday I gave a presentation to an audience comprised of stakeholders, Ministry managers and scientists. Focusing on Fishery Management Planning, Science evidence review, Innovation and provision of research by stakeholders, I showed how NZs established governance conditions, engagement processes and Research and Science Information Standards could translate into practical lessons for Europe’s plans for strengthening the role of stakeholders in fisheries management under a reformed CFP (if we ever get there!).   In particular, there are parallels with stakeholder’s role in developing Long Term Management Plans, identifying priorities for research needed make management fit-for-purpose, and undertaking research in collaboration with scientists.  You can find my presentation at the top of this page. For those wanting more, rest assured that a more detailed report intended for publication will follow soon.


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