Sustainability Assessment of the Societal Costs of Fishing Activities in a Deliberative Perspective

Assessing the social cost of fisheries is generally seen as a matter of how to monetize the components of fisheries. This paper presents an assessment of the societal cost of fishing activities, seen as a social process that is expected to contribute to the better management of aquatic resources, affecting sustainable development in coastal areas around the world. The originality of this article lies in considering the sustainability assessment from a deliberative perspective. It aims at defining the types of guiding concepts, frameworks, and information sets that might be appropriate for decision support, as we enlarge our scope of concern from fisheries to the ecosystems of eco-regions in the long term. In defining the societal cost of fisheries, through interviews, the objective is, first of all, to identify the social effects (positive and negative) of fishing métiers. By comparing fishing activities in a multi-criteria and multi-actor analysis, this evaluation is intended as a means for the actors to express in different ways (scientific indicators, institutional objectives, etc.) their judgment regarding the sustainability of the fishing profession. This analysis is the basis for defining the methods of monetizing these effects in different eco-regions (West African coastal upwelling and the deltas of Southeast Asia).

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