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Practical use of full-spectrum sustainability in the Bay of Fundy

Owen P Jones, Canadian Fisheries Research Network, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and University of New Brunswick, St. Andrews Biological Station, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Robert L. Stephenson, Canadian Fisheries Research Network, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and University of New Brunswick, St. Andrews Biological Station, St. Andrews, New Brunswick

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-11010-240325

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Abstract

It is increasingly recognized that sustainability is composed of four key components: environmental, economic, social (including cultural), and institutional (or governance). Fisheries and coastal management systems, however, are heavily weighted toward biophysical and ecological aspects, thus leaving the “human dimension,” i.e., social, economic, and institutional, relatively neglected. Full-spectrum sustainability (FSS) is an approach to resource management that aims to address this imbalance. Management plans are beginning to include elements of FSS, yet there are very few practical examples of successfully implemented FSS strategies. We examined and compared the potential application of two proposed FSS frameworks in the Bay of Fundy, one based on the Southwest New Brunswick Marine Advisory Committee Community Values Criteria, and the other on the Framework for Comprehensive Evaluation from the Canadian Fisheries Research Network. These were compared in structure and in their practical application to evaluation of plans for herring (Clupea harengus) management and the recovery of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalena glacialis) in the Maritime region of Canada. Although the two frameworks differ in specific structure, both frameworks are useful in demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of current management plans. This evaluation demonstrates that the management plans are strong in attention to ecological objectives but have gaps in the spectrum of considerations in current management planning, especially in relation to social, economic, and governance considerations. We propose that FSS frameworks can provide and should be used routinely as the basis for analysis of policies and management plans, engagement and discussion among stakeholders in participatory governance, comparison of alternative management scenarios, and the generation of advice. Use of FSS frameworks will allow better decisions on coastal activities within the context of “balanced” FSS.

Key words

Bay of Fundy; Canada; coastal management; ecosystem approach; full-spectrum sustainability; integrated management

Copyright © 2019 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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