such as government agencies, have had responsibility for managing these activities. Institutional arrangements are needed that require decision makers to consider the effects of one sector's actions on other sectors, such as the effects of agriculture on water quality.
Large Marine Ecosystem Approach (LME). In the past decade there have been a series of meetings classifying coastal areas of the world's ocean into LMEs, and promoting an ecosystem approach to studying and managing these ecosystems. Recently, international donor agencies have shown interest in funding regional programs based on an LME approach. The approach identifies five modules that need to be addressed, including (1) productivity (i.e., the base of the food chain), (2) fishery resources, (3) ocean health (amount and quality of habitat), (4) socioeconomics, and (5) governance. Monitoring strategies for the first two modules are most developed, but the approach stresses the importance of all five modules in order to properly manage ecosystems. The LME approach incorporates several of the elements of an ecosystem approach to fishery management discussed in this report (Sherman et al. 1990, 1993).
The Precautionary Approach. Recently, this approach has gained acceptance for the management of fisheries, as indicated in the United Nations Agreement for Straddling Stocks and Highly Migratory Species. Perhaps it is even more applicable to an ecosystem approach to fishery management than it is to traditional single-species management, because of the level of uncertainty about ecosystems and the potential risks associated with their misuse. It seems unlikely that sustainability of marine fisheries will be achieved without a more pervasive and stronger commitment to the precautionary approach.