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FAO convened the Expert Consultation to elaborate a framework for technical guidelines on the economic, social and institutional considerations (e.g. information processes and approaches) needed to apply the ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAF). The Expert Consultation provided specific guidance for the finalization of a technical paper based on a revision and elaboration of the background document presented. From there the Expert Consultation produced a detailed outline for the preparation of new technical guidelines, and noted the need to clearly explain the current interpretation of the term EAF that expressed the ideas of a holistic, participatory and integrated approach to fisheries management. The Expert Consultation recognized that the move towards EAF would, in many instances, be accomplished on an incremental and adaptive management basis in view of each specific context being addressed.