Coastal and marine ecosystems provide jobs, recreation, cultural and spiritual value, and sustainable, healthy, and delicious sources of seafood. Fisheries regulations, guidelines, and best practices ensure these ecosystems remain productive. But if people don’t follow regulations, they may threaten these important ecosystems. Therefore, regulatory compliance is an important part of fishery management and ensuring our ocean and coastal resources remain healthy and productive.
Several fisheries in the U.S. Pacific Islands region could benefit from increased enforcement presence, but we believe that alternative approaches to improve compliance can complement regulatory programs.
When combined with regulations, these approaches could form an integrated compliance strategy and address many of the issues identified by experts. Non-regulatory approaches include enhanced public outreach and education, social marketing, social learning, strategic communication, and persuasion-based compliance interventions. They may also include market-based solutions such as fishery improvement projects and sustainability certification programs. Increased participation and involvement in management processes can improve regulatory effectiveness and compliance.