NGOs involvement in long-term effects of ecological and institutional change on regional fisheries


In this journal article Lisa M. Dellmuth from Stockholm University and international authors summarize key insights on their research addressing non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) participation in meetings of regional fisheries management organizations.

In this article the researchers develop a theoretical framework conceptualizing ENGO participation and developing expectations about how ecological and institutional change shapes ENGO participation.

Fishing boat. Credit: NarisaFotoSS / Shutterstock

Key Messages

  • Scientist and expert participation in RFMOs tends to crowd out NGO participation.
  • NGOs participate in greater numbers in RFMOs with relatively large budgets.
  • In RFMOs with more democratic memberships, we find more NGO participation.
  • Target fish stock health is not found to shape NGO participation.
  • NGOs participation does not seem to depend on the economic value of target stocks.


Understanding why ENGOs participate is crucial for policy makers to know in order to improve conditions for ENGO participation and influence for greater effectiveness of reaching the targets set out in SDG14.

Given the growing role of ENGOs, it is an important task for future research to further investigate the goals, strategy choices, and impacts of ENGOs participating regional fisheries management organizations

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The research presented in this journal article is a deliverable of Mistra Geopolitics, which is funded by MISTRA, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research.

Authors of this publication

Lisa M. Dellmuth ,