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Article Restricted

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Environmental Development

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Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) addressing the management of living marine resources have a long history, beginning in 1811 with the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention followed by the International Pacific Halibut Convention in 1924. Following the expansion of fisheries after WWII RFMOs proliferated and after the general acceptance of a 200 mile extended jurisdiction in the mid-1970s many more nations became involved. There are approximately 17 RFMOs, (depending on the definition of “management”) of the over 40 marine Regional Fisheries Bodies(RFBs) identified by FAO. The Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) approach has roots in the experience of the International Commission for the Conservation of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (now defunct and replaced by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)) which pioneered ecosystem based fisheries management. The LME approach was fleshed out in the 1980s and initiated as both the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and country projects, beginning in the mid-1990s. LMEs have fisheries as a major component to be addressed under the LME five-module concept. As LME Programs enter the stage where they need to move to develop their governance responsibilities, the relationship with existing RFMOs is critical. This paper examines possibilities for this interaction with special attention to, but not exclusively, the Western coast of Africa. Possible inferences from the US east coast experience are also addressed, considering the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as a pseudo RFMO with the states assuming a role similar to countries.