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Figure 1. Distribution of “fisheries management” academic programs (2001 review of programs with available online literature in English). Norway(1). BASICS. LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT. FISHERIES SPECIFIC. Ireland(2) (1) Scotland (1) UK (10) (4). Canada (6) (4). Netherlands(1).

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Building human capital to lead 21st century fisheries

Figure 1. Distribution of “fisheries management” academic programs (2001 review of programs with available online literature in English).







Scotland (1)

UK (10)(4)

Canada (6)(4)



  • Sciences

    • Biology

    • Ecology

  • Economics

  • Social science

  • Policy & law

  • Business

  • Communications

    • Conflict resolution

    • Consensus building

    • Facilitation

    • People skills

  • Intercultural skills

  • Systems thinking

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision-making

  • Problem solving

  • Risk analysis

  • Fisheries Science

  • Fisheries Management tools

    • Risk analysis

    • Stock assessment

  • Knowledge of all stakeholder groups

  • Managing specialist & decision-maker interface

  • Incorporating indigenous knowledge

  • Incorporating industry knowledge

US (39)(24)




Australia (5)(3)

Total academic programs = 72

Total institutions = 46

Total degree options = 165






Training Needs/notes

Table 2: Sample individual benchmark assessment based on ideal profile.

RATING KEY: 1 = Training, 2 = Developing, 3 = Competent, 4 = Advanced, 5 = Expert

Stock Assessment



Limited formal training

Cost Benefit Analysis



Sound innate skills

Leadership ability



Needs training…

Project management



No experience in agency

And More…..

Laura W. Jodice, Clemson University*

Gilbert Sylvia, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Oregon State University*

Michael Harte, Falkland Islands Government

Susan Hanna, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Oregon State University

Kevin Stokes, New Zealand Seafood Industry Council


The nations of the world confront complex challenges in managing fisheries resources in the 21st century. While attention focuses on the need for new institutional ideas, designing and implementing effective governance may be imperiled by inadequate investment in the human capital needed to lead, innovate, and manage. To address this challenge, the international inaugural workshop, Training Managers for 21st Century Fisheries, was convened in Queenstown, New Zealand, on December 5-7, 2001. This paper summarizes areas of consensus and recommendations of the sixty-three government, industry, academic, and NGO leaders from Oceania, North America, and Europe who participated in this workshop.

Building Human Capital To Lead 21st Century Fisheries

  • Needs (Defining the Gap)

  • All necessary skills and knowledge (Table 1) cannot exist in one manager.

  • All participants in fisheries management require a basic minimum level of common skills and knowledge.

  • Each class of manager needs different levels of competency.

  • Minimum competency levels should be defined specific to each managerial class (Figure 2).

  • Training needs assessment should rely on benchmarking of current knowledge, attitudes, skills, and abilities against an idealized profile for a manager’s role in the process (Table 2).

  • The Future of Fisheries

  • Building human (intellectual) capital is a dynamic process of discovering, collecting, and synthesizing knowledge that directs human action in extending existing systems or the creation of new systems. Society's wellbeing depends upon developing institutions that…

    • Compel learning

    • Build infrastructure to store and disseminate knowledge

    • Stimulate flexibility in problem solving

    • (adapted from

  • 21st Century fishery managers should be capable of…

    • Balancing utilization and sustainability mandates

    • Structuring and allocating property rights

    • Defining and implementing ecosystem management

    • Designing cooperative research and management

    • Contending with risk and uncertainty

    • Addressing international management

    • Integrating fisheries within ocean governance regimes

    • Reducing oppressive bureaucracy and litigation

  • Current Investment

  • Society has not adequately invested in the human capital capable of successful leadership and management of 21st century fisheries.

    • Fishery managers worldwide have received little formal training in “fisheries management”.

    • Few education programs exist that provide professional development, fishery management curricula which integrate leadership, critical decision-making, and systems level thinking.

    • Recruitment and retention of quality managers is difficult and will intensify with retirement of upper level managers.

    • The definition of “fishery manager” has broadened in response to evolving institutions and increased participation in management.

    • There is no single vision of a “fisheries manager”.

    • Depending on the governance system, there are many classes of “managers” participating in the fisheries process:

      • Stakeholders

      • Stakeholder representatives

      • Directors of private sector/NGO groups

      • Mid-level government managers

      • Lead managers of government agencies

      • Elected policymakers

      • Policy analysts & institutional designers

Table 1. Skill and Knowledge Needs for 21st Century Fisheries Management

(2001 workshop summary).

  • Eight Priority Strategies

  • Success will require regional, national, and international commitment to the following:

    • Develop partnerships within and among institutions, sectors, and nations

    • Include the management process as a learning experience

    • Broaden and lengthen career paths

    • Identify the gaps between training supply and demand for each management class or sector

    • Create a website with training opportunities and resources

    • Encourage industry scholarships

    • Develop a case study library

    • Establish a training provider network

  • Additional recommendations and details are provided in the 2001 workshop report available at:


  • You may also subscribe to the listserv:


Figure 2: Conceptual model of fisheries manager competencies profile.

Sector or Type of Manager

Level of Competency

Minimum level basics for all managers of this type

Skill or Knowledge Area

  • Building Support

  • Members of the Training Managers for 21st Century Fisheries Initiative,internationalsteering committee are facilitating:

    • Strategy development and partnership building

    • Case study development

    • Development of competencies and benchmarking processes for each managerial class

    • Communications among training providers and managers - trainfishmngr listserv

  • NOAA Fisheries Leadership

    • Strategies should include:

    • Continue building fellowship, cooperative academic, leadership, and mentoring programs

    • Align academic and government training

    • Facilitate development of well defined competencies for all managerial classes

    • Develop intersectoral and international exchange opportunities

  • International Coordination

  • Success requires leadership and cooperation from the highest levels of national management authorities and international bodies.

  • A stronger coordinating mechanism is necessary. Ideally this is an international level organization charged with facilitating fishery management training and partnership within and among classes of managers at a variety of regional scales.



NOAA Fisheries

Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station, Oregon State University

New Zealand Seafood Industry Council

Additional Contributors

New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries

Te Ohu Kai Moana (Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission)

New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

American Fisheries Society, Marine Division

Training Managers for 21st Century Fisheries Initiative

*Contact: Laurie Jodice ( or Gil Sylvia (