A Standardized Benchmarking Framework for RFMO Performance
Saltman, Annika Nordin
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Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) are intergovernmental regional fishery bodies or arrangements with authority to establish binding conservation and management measures for straddling fish stocks and fisheries on the high seas. The published literature has focused on the need for RFMOs to improve and strengthen their governance structures to promote successful management outcomes. Performance assessment has been identified as a means of achieving this objective. While some RFMOs have engaged in performance assessment, variation in the stated purpose of each assessment and in the evaluation frameworks used has led some to call for the development of a standard benchmarking framework that can be applied across all RFMOs. Notably, the utility of such a framework has been generally accepted without analysis of the potential obstacles to its creation. I explore the argument for the creation of such a standardized benchmarking framework. I find that despite expressed need for such a framework, organizational diversity across RFMOs creates barriers to development and implementation of standardized evaluations, suggesting the need for flexibility and diversity among frameworks. I conclude that obstacles to the creation of a single standard, comprehensive evaluation framework exist, and that the use of evaluation criteria appropriate for individual RFMOs may be more useful.
- Marine affairs