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Title: Sustainability and conflict in small-scale fisheries
Author: Kochalski, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 3912
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Small-scale fisheries account for one third of the global fisheries catch and employ the majority of fishers, yet they are under-represented in terms of the science focused on fisheries management and the application of this. The sustainability of small-scale fisheries is crucial to end the global fisheries crisis and ensure food security in coastal areas. This thesis aimed at contributing to the better integration of the ecological and social side of small-scale fisheries in order to move towards sustainability. Using a quantitative linguistic approach, the meanings of sustainability were explored across the fisheries science literature and a holistic and unambiguous definition of sustainability was proposed as “the continuous existence of the socio-ecological fishery system, in such a way that it provides goods and services now and in the future, without depleting natural resources, and the sustainable processes that make both possible”. The thesis compared the meaning and breadth of the sustainability concept in fisheries science literature with the criteria used in fisheries sustainability standards. Twelve core criteria were identified. While a consensus on criteria contributes to transparency towards the consumer, it is also cause for concern because the sustainability standards largely ignored human and social aspects. To assess fisheries from the human or social perspective, this thesis adapted a formal conflict analysis approach from research on peace and war and applied it to an English small-scale fishery with co-management arrangements in place and a UK offshore fishery that is centrally managed. The analysis was based on the line of thinking that the understanding of and way towards sustainability is determined by a societal dialogue and that conflict indicates that this dialogue is facing difficulties. Conflict, which is omnipresent in fisheries but not used as an analytical tool, proved to be a multifaceted phenomenon and an informative indicator to study and assess social sustainability in fisheries, albeit it was not correlated to biological sustainability of fish stocks. The thesis finally integrates the review of the sustainability meanings, the comparison of eco-certification schemes, and the insights from the conflict analysis to determine and discuss their suitability for assessing sustainability of small-scale fisheries. It is finally concluded that sustainability of small-scale fisheries could be furthered by moving away from managing outcomes towards enabling cooperative relationships.
Supervisor: Robinson, L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral