The Pursuit of a Sustainable Coastal Fishery: Comparisons of the Oyster Fishery in Chesapeake Bay and Ariake Sea
Kennedy, Victor S
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A coastal fishery brings high productivity and economic profit while supporting cultural norms. However, it also causes environmental degradation and political conflicts, which sometimes collapse a fishery. With the current global shift from capture fisheries to aquaculture, appropriate management is required for social and environmental sustainability. To identify essential factors in coastal fishery management, I compared the oyster industries in Chesapeake Bay (USA) and in Ariake Sea (Japan) from political, environmental, and cultural perspectives, by field observations, interviews, and literature research. Despite their different historical backgrounds, the two regions have lost most of the oyster resource due mainly to 1) failure of environmental management, 2) environmental degradation and 3) resistance of the fishing communities to necessary changes in fishing methods and aquaculture. Based on these lessons, I propose that a coastal fishery management plan should include environmental management, development of government-initiated aquaculture, understanding cultural backgrounds, and cooperation among science, industry and politics as essential factors.