Marine Policy, Volume 87, January 2018,
This study was conducted to investigate how the legal framework governing the Bangladeshi fishery sector can be reformed through measures such as governance reform, increasing coordination between administrative bodies and educating key stakeholders, including fishermen. In doing so, this paper evaluates how Bangladeshi fishery laws can facilitate sustainable development and improved environmental outcomes for coastal and marine living resources. This study also examined how non-compliance with the legal framework could negatively affect government initiatives to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 14. To collect empirical data, fieldwork was conducted at two sites in the coastal zone of Bangladesh and was supplemented by a review of the secondary literature on legal documents. The key findings show that despite the strong existing legal mechanisms, non-compliance with regulations is widespread and has resulted in severe degradation of coastal and marine living resources. Thus, the unsustainable exploitation of resources is restricting the ability to achieve the targets of SDG 14, such as eliminating IUU fishing and providing access to small-scale fisheries. After examining the issues that cause non-compliance, this study provides guidelines for the development and effective implementation of legal and policy frameworks to ensure sustainable coastal and marine living resource management in Bangladesh.