Involvement of State Fishery Managers in White Marlin Conservation: A Case Study

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Service, is charged with stewardship of coastal and inland fishery resources and management of fishermen who fish in our waters. Maryland's involvement in fishery management is not restricted only to state waters. We also have been actively involved in influencing national and international fisheries policy for Atlantic white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus), particularly in 2002. The effort is two-fold; it utilizes traditional methods of fishery management through an advisory process and, in later years, has included non-traditional processes including partnerships with fishing organizations and environmental advocacy groups. In the future, state fishery managers could consider additional non-traditional strategies such as requesting protection for white marlin under the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species and through information exchange programs with small developing coastal nations. This paper discusses our experience regarding white marlin management in 2002 and explores further opportunities for state fishery managers to influence international fishery management policy. I conclude that state fishery managers can work most effectively in non-traditional fishery management processes, i.e., through formal and informal mechanisms, by forming partnerships with user groups that share common goals and with the intention of influencing domestic and international fish conservation and management.

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