The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 7, Number 1, 2008
Abstract: Capture fisheries, aquaculture and coastal zones are closely-related resource systems with varying representations of diversity, complexity, dynamics and scale. They require different management approaches and appropriate governance structures which, as this paper suggests, can be determined partly through assessments of their governability. The governability of a resource system is defined as its overall capacity for governance, which is assessed by determining the properties, qualities and functionality aspects that make it more or less governable. The premise is that assessing governability might help to identify areas where governance can be improved. From an interactive governance perspective, we used a theoretical framework to assess qualitatively the governabilities of capture fisheries, aquaculture and coastal zones, focussing on the system-to-be-governed, the governing system, and the interactions between them. Overall, governability was found to be likely to be highest for aquaculture, moderate for capture fisheries and relatively low for coastal zones. One criterion that distinguishes aquaculture from the other resource systems examined is that it is generally owner-operated, making it more governable than the other systems. The results, strengths and weaknesses of the governability assessment framework used are discussed, with the aim of stimulating further development of methods and research on governabilities and governance of these and other resources systems.