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Title: The Regional Advisory Councils in the Common Fisheries Policy : stakeholder participation between management and democracy
Author: Koehler, Gerd
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 4110
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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The North Sea Regional Advisory Council serves as a case study. Established during the 2002 Common Fisheries Policy, the North Sea Regional Advisory Council (NSRAC) offers stakeholder participation in the decision-making process. Its establishment was to some extent an experiment based on a leap of faith that better governance could help the ailing fisheries policy. A short analysis reveals the shortcomings of the previous fisheries policy, all of which root in the discrepancy between political motivation and legal objectives. The 'Tragedy of the Commons' suggests that democracy might indeed not be perfect for fisheries management. Past decision-making procedures in the European Community lent themselves to state competition and 'tragic' decision-making in the Council. In this situation, Regional Advisory Councils were hoped by some to provide self-regulation fora. EC/ EU constitutional law prevents this. The Common Fisheries Policy requires balancing of highly diverse interests. The NSRAC is not suited for such balancing, due to its (enshrined) industry majority. Nevertheless the NSRAC has already made valuable contributions and offers some potential for more. The double-bind between decision-makers and grass roots fishermen incentivises industry representatives in the NSRAC to propose conservation measures. They are less inclined to be hard-handed on the industry, though. NSRAC members stepped beyond 'stalling tactics' with regard to scientific assessments and proactively support them. In return, the decision-making system needs to acknowledge NSRAC commitment and provide sufficient funds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen ; College of Arts and Social Sciences
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fishery policy ; Fishery co-management