View from the wheelhouse: Perceptions on marine management from the fishing community and suggestions for improvement

K Yates

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Marine capture fisheries are of global importance, supporting hundreds of millions of livelihoods and making a significant contribution to global food security. Yet many fisheries are at risk from unsustainable exploitation and fishing has caused significant detrimental impacts on the wider marine environment. The success of initiatives to improve marine management depends, at least partly, on fisher behaviour and there is a growing recognition of the need for increased fisher participation in planning and management. This study focuses on fishers[U+05F3] perceptions and attitudes towards marine and fisheries management, and explores how that knowledge can be used to improve future management strategies. One hundred and six fishers took part in a semi-structured questionnaire and mapping exercise. Fishers proved to be keen to participate, were candid in their responses and, contrary to common perception, were not opposed to regulations and management. Indeed, they acknowledged both to be essential for the long-term viability of the fisheries, and they expressed a need for tighter controls and better enforcement. Fishers did however feel that some of the current regulations and management measures were unjust, they expressed frustration with how hard it was for fishers to participate in the management decision making processes, and they were concerned that their representatives were not representative of the industry as a whole. Fishers expressed mixed feelings on MPAs; nevertheless, over half the fishers interviewed suggested that areas should be protected, and many supported some form of spatial restriction on mobile fishing gear. Fishers also reported both spatial and behavioural changes in their fishing as a result of rising fuel prices. Improved communication between fishers and managers was identified as key for enhancing participation. This study highlights some of the ways in which fisher participation could lead to more effective long-term solutions to marine and fisheries management problems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-50
    Number of pages12
    JournalMarine Policy
    Volume48
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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