Application of Systems Engineering and Sustainable Development Goals towards Sustainable Management of Fishing Gear Resources in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Commercial fishing is a critical economic sector for Norway, yet deficiency of scientific information, regulatory instruments, inadequate implementation, and lack of management infrastructure are among the significant causes of mismanagement of fishing gear (FG) resources. Mismanagement of FGs results in leakage of plastics through abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gears (ALDFG), which is the most threatening litter fraction for marine wildlife. In EU-EEA states, the management of ALDFG is prioritized through a dedicated circular economy (CE) action plan. Historically, systems engineering (SE) methods are successfully applied for resource management studies. This study adopts and applies the SPADE method to evaluate sustainable management for the system of FG resources in Norway. SPADE comprises five problem-solving activities covering stakeholders, problem formulation, analysis, decision-making, and continuous evaluation. Each activity is accomplished by data collected through stakeholder interviews and literature analysis to establish an initial structure of problems and associated management strategies across FG’s life cycle phases. The application of SPADE spanned across four years (2017–2020) and resulted in scientific outcomes aimed at the common goal of improving the system of FG resources in Norway within the framework of sustainable development goals and CE. SPADE’s practice to integrate stakeholders at each step and provision for continual systems evaluation proved effective in building a holistic understanding of the complex system.