Co-management in fisheries – Experiences and changing approaches in Europe
This article aims to identify conditions of success for European fisheries co-management and its integration in broader strategies for sustainable resource management. Co-management of fisheries, broadly defined as the involvement of users in management, developed in Europe in various experimental forms of participation of fishermen in the management process, in advisory roles or through delegation and sharing of power. During its history, fisheries co-management has been revealed as multi-functional, addressing different knowledge and resource management problems, with varying success. This analysis focuses on knowledge-related issues that are important for the functioning of co-management, especially the combination of scientific and local knowledge. First we review European literature on co-management and secondly we analyse two exemplary case studies (EU Regional Advisory Councils and Fisheries Local Action Groups). Thereupon the possibilities for future development of co-management in Europe are discussed with regard to knowledge integration and environmental governance. Under the influence of the ideas of adaptive governance and sustainable resource management, modifications of forms and functions of co-management systems are described.