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Port Orford ecosystem-based management plan, Oregon, USA

In the late 1990s, local fishermen in Port Orford, Oregon felt disenfranchised from the federal fishery management system (analogous to EU directives). Believing a bottom-up approach would be more effective, they formed a non-profit organisation, Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT), to produce an ecosystem management plan.

They identified a Community Stewardship Area that incorporated the traditional fishing grounds of the Port Orford fishing fleet, and consulted with local scientists to develop a science and access plan based on ecosystem management principles and goals. This plan considered the entire local ocean environment and the surrounding watersheds that drain into the near-shore ecosystem.

POORT’s structure includes a fishermen’s board, a community advisory board and government. The Port Orford example has gained widespread recognition and support from policymakers, management agencies and non-governmental organisations as a model for how community-based ocean management can and should work.