Recognising the innovative nature of these market-based governance arrangements, the BESTTuna programme explores whether and how they provide adequate incentives to adopt sustainable fishing practices and that reduce pressure on tuna stocks.

In doing so the programme will focus on:

  1. the ecology and fisheries of the three tuna species in their interaction with Fish Aggregating Devices,
  2. the composition, behavior and interests of different fishing fleets,
  3. the incentive structure and economic and social relations of related market actors and
  4. the response of state and intergovernmental fisheries management arrangements to new market-based mechanisms.

By addressing these questions the BESTTuna programme will contribute to a wider understanding of how to combine state, market and resource dimensions in the governance of tuna as a complex socio-ecological system. Through this it will assist in formulating innovative incentive-based management arrangements in collaboration with a range of tuna related stakeholders from industry, government, NGO's and academia from the region. Many of these have been consulted during the proposal development and are part of an active network the research can draw on (societal panel).

The BESTTuna programme will run for five years and is divided into six research themes including PhD and Postdoc researchers.