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Sustainable Governance of Norwegian Aquaculture and the Administrative Reform: Dilemmas and Challenges

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Kjetil Aune

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Coastal Management ; Volume 42. p. 447–463. 2014

Sandersen, Håkan; Kvalvik, Ingrid

This article discusses the impact of the Norwegian government’s administrative reform on the management of the Norwegian aquaculture industry and coastal areas. The 2010 reform of government administration strengthened the County Councils’ role in issues of aquaculture at the expense of the regional offices of the Directorate of Fisheries. The aim of the reform was to increase self-governance through decentralization. However, international trends in coastal zone and marine resource management are moving in the opposite direction, aiming at more integrated and ecosystem-based approaches involving the management of larger, rather than smaller, geographic regions. This article examines the possible effects of this reform in light of the move from government to governance, and in the context of a broad policy shift toward a more integrated, ecosystem-based management (EBM) of the coastal zone. Based on insights from multilevel and coastal zone governance debates, we argue that an unintended consequence of the Norwegian administrative reform could be increased fragmentation of the aquaculture governance system, as well as a reduced capacity to implement EBM-related measures. At the same time, the reform might improve coastal zone planning, although a further step toward integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) would require a greater delegation of authority to the County Councils.

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