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This course provides basic knowledge on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) process and how this can assist in decision-making for responsible and sustainable capture fisheries. The course is designed for fishery and environment staff, as well as related economic development and planning staff, at the provincial/state and district/local levels, who are responsible for administrating fisheries and the marine environment in which they operate.

The need to apply an ecosystem approach to capture fisheries management is now globally accepted and has been endorsed in international decision-making; for example, at the Rio +20 conference in 2012. This approach represents a move away from fisheries management systems that focus only on the sustainable harvest of target species, towards systems and decision-making processes that balance environmental well-being with human and social well-being, within improved governance frameworks.

This Essential EAFM course provides participants with skills that will help you to elaborate a management plan to better manage the fisheries to which  they are   connected. This course will equip participants to:

  • Manage fisheries more holistically
  • Reduce user group conflicts
  • Help unlock financial resources
  • Work cooperatively with other stakeholders
  • Better resolve fisheries issues and challenges.

Participants will learn about EAFM concepts and work with an EAFM plan template to develop a draft meaningful plan for their fishery. They will understand the principles of co-management and how to foster cross-sector coordination. Participants will also practice the crucial skills of effective communication, facilitation and conflict management.


Each step of the EAFM process is explained in dedicated modules in the course Handbook. there are course materials for both Participants and Trainers:

  1. Participants course materials: There is a Participant Handbook which explains each step of the EAFM process in dedicated modules; a  Participant Workbook  for participants to write their notes for each stage. The linked Toolkit provides participants  with “People” and “Technical” tools which can be used at different stages in the EAFM process. There is also  an  Action Plan  booklet for personal development.
  2. Trainers resource materials: A  "Trainers  Resource Guidebook" is provided to assist in course delivery; this is supported by detailed Session Plans  that outline  how each session should be conducted;  a set of Evaluation Forms also enables the trainers to get feedback on the participants through the training course. a  trainer's resource guide and associated materials provides additonal support.
  3. Session Powerpoint presentations: 18 presentations for  the  training course sessions in PDF format.

After successfully completing the course participants receive the Handbook and powerpoint presentations on a CD/USB, together with any additional resources.


The  starting point for the training course is to  explain the need for EAFM, and what exactly EAFM is. Then particpants learn how EAFM can work. This is achieved through the training, by developing an EAFM plan, then implementing the plan, and monitoring, evaluating and adapting the plan.


This course is designed to be highly participatory. To complement input from trainers, participants  will work in pairs, in groups and individually on specifically designed exercises. The exercises are designed to consolidate learning. The course is intedned to be locally relevant, and  trainers will try to provide real, local examples. This also  relies on input and  active engagement from the course participants.


Daily monitoring and reviews ensure that participant feedback is integrated into course design. Pre- and post-course assessment, as well as a quiz, enables trainers  to assess learning.

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