Catchment Management is a way of managing our fishery environment in a sustainable manner i.e. “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations”
It brings the community and government together to plan and manage for the future and helps maintain a high quality environment. Management decisions operate at a catchment level: the catchment is a term used to describe the geographic area of land that drains water to a shared destination. The catchment basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces from which water drains into those channels.
The process can take many forms, but decisions are typically done on a consensus basis, normally after consultation and with the help of relevant experts.
In order to carry out Catchment Management in an area, it is necessary to identify the key stakeholders (i.e. interest groups) and develop a plan of action through participation and consultation. A working document should be drawn up, outlining the objectives of the process, the issues involved and the solutions proposed, including a realistic timeframe. The gathering of background information is crucial to understanding issues within the catchment.
The success of Catchment Management depends on active participation of all the stakeholders. This build up of trust between groups is essential. The abandonment of entrenched points of view and a sprinkling of creative thinking are also useful ingredients.