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Where Do We Go From Here? A Summary of Issues of Concern and Recommendations Developed During the Panel Discussion of the Large Pelagic Fishes Symposium

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One of the goals of the Large Pelagic Fishes Symposium was to provide a forum for development of a list of Issues of Concern regarding large pelagic fishes and their fisheries in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico region. During the Symposium and ensuing Panel Discussion, it became clear that the level of consciousness concerning large pelagic fishes is of equal importance to that of other regional fisheries such as reef fishes and conch/lobster. Four major issues of concern regarding large pelagic fishes in the region surfaced during the Symposium. The Symposium Committee recommends that future resources and energy should be addressed to these identified concerns:

1) Fisheries policy-advisors and managers are not getting information from scientists in a timely fashion;
2) Approaches to reduce overfishing and its negative effects need to be strengthened;
3) Insufficient attention is being paid to instituting effective regional management; and
4) Initiatives to engage fishers in management processes and to help find solutions are inadequate.

Panel members and Symposium participants made a number of recommendations for addressing each of these issues. The recommendations related to helping resolve each issue of concern are listed.

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