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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Opportunity for marine fisheries reform in China
Author(s): Cao, Ling
Chen, Yong
Dong, Shuanglin
Hanson, Arthur
Huang, Bo
Leadbitter, Duncan
Little, David Colin
Pikitch, Ellen K
Qiu, Yongsong
de Mitcheson, Yvonne Sadovy
Sumaila, Ussif Rashid
Williams, Meryl
Xue, Guifang
Ye, Yimin
Zhang, Wenbo
Keywords: marine fisheries
institutional reforms
Chinese characteristics
Issue Date: 17-Jan-2017
Citation: Cao L, Chen Y, Dong S, Hanson A, Huang B, Leadbitter D, Little DC, Pikitch EK, Qiu Y, de Mitcheson YS, Sumaila UR, Williams M, Xue G, Ye Y & Zhang W (2017) Opportunity for marine fisheries reform in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (3), pp. 435-442.
Abstract: China's 13th Five-Year Plan, launched in March 2016, provides a sound policy platform for the protection of marine ecosystems and the restoration of capture fisheries within China's exclusive economic zone. What distinguishes China among many other countries striving for marine fisheries reform is its size- accounting for almost one-fifth of global catch volume-and the unique cultural context of its economic and resource management. In this paper, we trace the history of Chinese government priorities, policies, and outcomes related to marine fisheries since the 1978 Economic Reform, and examine how the current leadership's agenda for "ecological civilization" could successfully transform marine resource management in the coming years. We show how China, like many other countries, has experienced a decline in the average trophic level of its capture fisheries during the past few decades, and how its policy design, implementation, and enforcement have influenced the status of its wild fish stocks. To reverse the trend in declining fish stocks, the government is introducing a series of new programs for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, with greater traceability and accountability in marine resource management and area controls on coastal development. As impressive as these new plans are on paper, we conclude that serious institutional reforms will be needed to achieve a true paradigm shift in marine fisheries management in China. In particular, we recommend new institutions for science-based fisheries management, secure fishing access, policy consistency across provinces, educational programs for fisheries managers, and increasing public access to scientific data.
DOI Link: 10.1073/pnas.1616583114
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in PNAS 2017, vol. 114 no. 3, pp. 435–442 by National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The original publication is available at:
Notes: Additional co-authors: Yingqi Zhou, Ping Zhuang, and Rosamond L. Naylor

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