World fisheries are characterized by ecological, economic and social costs which are not taken into account by current market mechanisms. However, the sustainability of ecosystems and fishing activities depends on their being taken into account in order to arrive at the most appropriate management decisions. The European research programme ECOST (Ecosystem, Society, Consilience and Precautionary Principle: Development of an Assessment Method of the Societal Cost for Best Fishing Practices and Efficient Public Policies) develops an integrative approach to the various costs generated by fishing activities. In doing so it seeks to develop a decision-making tool which can contribute to the success of the Plan of Implementation proposed at the Johannesburg summit.
- Societal costs