The principal that decisions regarding conservation and management of living marine resources should be based on the ‘best available scientific evidence’ (BASE) is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (United Nations 1982) for both EEZs and the High Seas.
Countries and their regional organisations are legally obligated to operationalize this principle. Nonetheless, there is considerable room for interpretation of the meaning of ‘best’ and ‘available’. Even with the best intentions, managers have found many challenges to developing, obtaining, and using the best available scientific evidence. These challenges range from low capacity to produce or access relevant scientific evidence, through poor communication of science to decision makers, to governance processes that are poorly structured or inadequately structured for the uptake of scientific advice.
This report will intended to identify priority research topics and information gaps from the perspective of decision makers. Ultimately, the goal is that this information will be useful for identifying those areas of research which provide the greatest value in developing effective and implementable policy.
We invite you to read the first draft here and stay tuned as more information will be shared in this section.
The final document will be made available accordingly.