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New open-access article with focus on the future of fisheries and marine co-management

Co-management at a crossroads in Canada: issues, opportunities, and emerging challenges in fisheries and marine contexts


Despite some progress, successful co-management in Canada has remained the exception rather than the rule, and especially so in jurisdictions not covered by a comprehensive land claims agreement. As such, our aim in this perspective is to identify and describe some of the primary factors that may impede more rapid progress toward successful co-management and to explore why they persist, with particular attention to fisheries and marine contexts. Specifically, we outline several institutional conditions that are likely to impede broader adoption of co-management approaches in Canada, including (1) antiquated and incomplete legislative arrangements; (2) a co-management policy vacuum that has not grappled with emerging expectations for co-governance; (3) relative absence of the knowledge co-production systems needed to create the precursors for successful co-management initiatives; and (4) financial and human resource capacity limitations. Such conditions must also be situated in a dynamic context that includes the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ongoing reconciliation processes, and shifts in the ownership and use of fisheries and other marine resources. We offer, finally, some suggestions to augment co-management efforts and ultimately achieve its promise.


Swerdfager, T. & Armitage, D. (2023). Co-management at a crossroads in Canada: Issues, opportunities, and emerging challenges in fisheries and marine contexts. FACETS. 8: 1-10.

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