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Title: How fishers count : engaging with fishers' knowledge in fisheries science and management
Author: Daw, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 1194
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2008
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Engaging with fishers’ knowledge (FK) is increasingly valued in fisheries management (a) for FK’s utility for science and management, and (b) to improve the legitimacy of fisheries governance. Referring to both perspectives, this thesis examines: the nature and types of FK; FK’s relationship to scientific knowledge; and ‘extractive’ and ‘participative’ approaches taken to engage with FK. Chapters 3 and 4 compare fishers’ reports of catch rates with official landings data and underwater visual census (UVC). In Seychelles, contemporary reported catch rates and landings were consistent; but FK, landings and UVC perceived different trends over time. Over five western-Indian-Ocean countries, reported catch rates had no detectable relationship with UVC-measured fish biomass, despite a six-fold range in biomass. Such disparities between fishers’ and scientists’ perceptions provide opportunities to broaden the information base for monitoring; but challenge the legitimacy of science-based management in the eyes of resource users. Chapters 5 and 6 examine extractive approaches to engage FK. An interview-based stock assessment in Seychelles indicated that stocks were overexploited in contradiction to the qualitative perceptions of interviewed fishers. The extractive approach did not take account of fishers’ mental models which diverged from scientific assumptions about fish population dynamics and catch rates. In the North Sea, a postal questionnaire collected FK on stock trends, but had limited potential to influence scientific advice and satisfy fishers’ expectations, due to its limited scope T. Daw. How Fishers Count Page 3 and the lack of frameworks to utilise FK. Both cases illustrate the limitations of extractive methods, and the importance of engaging with more complex types of FK. Disagreements with science seem likelier, and more difficult to resolve for abstract types of FK. Extractive approaches can engage large numbers of fishers, but are less reliable and fail to improve governance. Participatory approaches, including collaborative research have greater promise for improving fisheries science and management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council ; Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available