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The integration of social science information into Great Lakes fishery management: Opportunities and challenges

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Abstract

Fishery management is increasingly moving toward management that accounts for environmental and social dimensions. Such an approach requires the integration of natural and social science information into planning and decision-making processes. The actual integration of social science information, however, remains limited in many policy and decision-making processes within fisheries. Our study provides insights into factors that influence the intention to use social science information among fishery managers and the actual integration of such information into fishery management. Based on interviews with fishery managers in the Great Lakes, we find that the lack of social science expertise in fishery management agencies leads to multiple negative beliefs and attitudes, and subsequently a low intention to use social science information in decision-making processes. At the same time, the paper finds that more expertise in decision-making tools and basing social science on equal footing with natural sciences within fishery management institutions appears critical to advance the actual integration of social science information in fishery management.

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... (e.g., Lupi, 2008;Dobson, 2006;Riley, 2007;Stedman, 2015;Lauber et al., 2014). Fishery managers were not engaged in the development of the HD research theme and did not necessarily utilize research findings (Heck et al., 2015). To address this point, we conducted this study to develop an update of the HD research theme that explicitly addresses the information needs of fishery managers themselves. ...
... Fishery management incorporates not only the environmental complexity of fisheries and existing and emergent environmental changes such as a spread of pathogens and aquatic invasive species, climate change, or nutrient pollution, but also complex challenges regarding users of the resource (Fulton et al., 2011). An understanding and integration of information on the human dimensions of fisheries, however, is still lacking in many fishery management agencies including those in the Great Lakes basin (Heck et al., 2015). Our study aims to increase the supply of relevant HD information for Great Lakes fisheries and its subsequent use by fishery managers. ...
... It requires the willingness to work across disciplines and engage with different underlying epistemologies and methods that might be unfamiliar to fishery managers and decision makers trained in ecology and biology (Evely et al., 2008;Fazey et al., 2006). Hiring social science staff in state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies and/or collaboration between fishery managers and HD researchers would help to increase agencies' capacity to actually use salient HD information in management and decision-making processes (Heck et al., 2015). ...
Preprint
Fishery management is increasingly moving towards ecosystem-based approaches that integrate ecological and human dimensions of fisheries. Studies on the human dimensions (HD) of fisheries have increased in recent years. A gap, however, remains between the nature of available information and the information needed by fishery managers. Our paper addresses this gap for the Great Lakes fisheries. We explicitly explored information needs of fishery managers to better reconcile the supply and demand of HD information. Our study finds that managers need HD information in particular to demonstrate the achievements of management goals and to address management issues. In addition, understanding the purpose and timing of information is important in order to provide timely and relevant information as fishery managers identify distinct information needs for planning, decision-making, and evaluation of management. Fishery managers in our study were particularly interested in direct and indirect economic values of the fisheries as well as values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of users. Interviewed managers were not only interested in the status quo of these factors but also wanted to understand what influences and shapes them. In addition, fishery managers would like to understand the contribution of fisheries to ecosystem services in the basin including cultural values. Our interviews did not detect interest in information on long-term HD trends or the explicit need for interdisciplinary studies. Such information, however, would be critical to understand and predict changes in the human dimensions of the fisheries and to develop management strategies to cope with these changes.
... As natural resource management is becoming more clearly recognized as primarily entailing the management of human behavior (e.g. [9], Heck et al. 2015, Mundy in Ronson [104]), bringing social data into these processes (e.g. TK itself as well as the social science of TK) is, as Heck et al. [39] observe, only logical. ...
... [9], Heck et al. 2015, Mundy in Ronson [104]), bringing social data into these processes (e.g. TK itself as well as the social science of TK) is, as Heck et al. [39] observe, only logical. Lyons et al. [51] have noted a more recent move towards the incorporation of social concerns in fisheries management (albeit one that has encountered difficulties). ...
... Lyons et al. [51] have noted a more recent move towards the incorporation of social concerns in fisheries management (albeit one that has encountered difficulties). There is a greater need for, among other things, putting social science on equal terms with the natural sciences in these management arenas, and for integrating the two domains (Heck et al. [39]). Ramírez-Monsalve et al. [93] have, for example, illustrated a version of a model for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management regarding the European Union which, at its simplest, has policymakers, natural and social scientists, and stakeholders interacting on equal footing in a co-creative process. ...
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Article
Fisheries policy and management processes for federal waters off western Alaska currently lack consistent and considered integration of traditional knowledge (TK), TK holders, social science of TK, and subsistence information. The incorporation of these into fisheries work can lead to more informed, equitable and effective policy and management practices. This paper includes information and recommendations derived from previous work by the authors as well as from two community workshops with indigenous TK holders and fisheries experts. Discussions of TK and related concepts, TK research in the Bering Strait and Yukon River regions, and Alaska federal fisheries management-related institutions and processes as pertains to TK are presented. Substantive recommendations are provided for improving processes, increasing tribal representation, capacity building, effective communication, outreach and relationship-building, the incorporation of indigenous concerns and values, and regarding the development of a Fisheries Ecosystem Plan for the Bering Sea.
... (e.g., Lupi, 2008;Dobson, 2006;Riley, 2007;Stedman, 2015;Lauber et al., 2014). Fishery managers were not engaged in the development of the HD research theme and did not necessarily utilize research findings (Heck et al., 2015). To address this point, we conducted this study to develop an update of the HD research theme that explicitly addresses the information needs of fishery managers themselves. ...
... Fishery management incorporates not only the environmental complexity of fisheries and existing and emergent environmental changes such as a spread of pathogens and aquatic invasive species, climate change, or nutrient pollution, but also complex challenges regarding users of the resource (Fulton et al., 2011). An understanding and integration of information on the human dimensions of fisheries, however, is still lacking in many fishery management agencies including those in the Great Lakes basin (Heck et al., 2015). Our study aims to increase the supply of relevant HD information for Great Lakes fisheries and its subsequent use by fishery managers. ...
... It requires the willingness to work across disciplines and engage with different underlying epistemologies and methods that might be unfamiliar to fishery managers and decision makers trained in ecology and biology (Evely et al., 2008;Fazey et al., 2006). Hiring social science staff in state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies and/or collaboration between fishery managers and HD researchers would help to increase agencies' capacity to actually use salient HD information in management and decision-making processes (Heck et al., 2015). ...
Article
Fishery management is increasingly moving towards ecosystem-based approaches that integrate ecological and human dimensions of fisheries. Studies on the human dimensions (HD) of fisheries have increased in recent years. A gap, however, remains between the nature of available information and the information needed by fishery managers. Our paper addresses this gap for the Great Lakes fisheries. We explicitly explored information needs of fishery managers to better reconcile the supply and demand of HD information. Our study finds that managers need HD information in particular to demonstrate the achievements of management goals and to address management issues. In addition, understanding the purpose and timing of information is important in order to provide timely and relevant information as fishery managers identify distinct information needs for planning, decision-making, and evaluation of management. Fishery managers in our study were particularly interested in direct and indirect economic values of the fisheries as well as values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of users. Interviewed managers were not only interested in the status quo of these factors but also wanted to understand what influences and shapes them. In addition, fishery managers would like to understand the contribution of fisheries to ecosystem services in the basin including cultural values. Our interviews did not detect interest in information on long-term HD trends or the explicit need for interdisciplinary studies. Such information, however, would be critical to understand and predict changes in the human dimensions of the fisheries and to develop management strategies to cope with these changes.
... The social sciences are one means through which researchers and practitioners can come to understand the human dimensions of conservation and natural resource management. Indeed, the social sciences have been applied to understand diverse conservation and environmental management problems including, but not limited to, water governance (Armitage et al., 2012;Bakker, 2012;Curran, 2015), fisheries management (Heck et al., 2015;Symes and Hoefnagel, 2010;Wilson et al., 2013), agriculture landscape management (de Snoo et al., 2013), wildlife management (Clark et al., 2008;Gore et al., 2011;Teel and Manfredo, 2010), avian conservation (Kingston, 2016;Veríssimo et al., 2014), protected areas (Brockington and Wilkie, 2015;Ferraro and Pressey, 2015;Lockwood, 2010), forest management (Agrawal and Gupta, 2005;Allen et al., 2014;Ostrom and Nagendra, 2006;Stanturf et al., 2012) and marine conservation planning (Aswani and Hamilton, 2004;Ban et al., 2013;Cornu et al., 2014). The social sciences have also been used to research conservation and environmental management at all scales from local (Bennett et al., 2010) to regional (Pietri et al., 2015) and global (Fleischman et al., 2014). ...
... Overviews: (Decker et al., 2012;Heck et al., 2015;Kittinger et al., 2012) Examples: (Decker and Purdy, 1988;Hunt et al., 2013;Manfredo et al., 2003) Policy Sciences The field of policy sciences offers a meta-theoretical framework for analysis of and intervention in the conservation policy processes. This approach is applied to specific policy problems, focusing on that problem's context rather than seeking generalizable solutions. ...
Full-text available
Preprint
It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservation social sciences impedes the conservation community's effective engagement with the human dimensions. This paper examines the scope and purpose of eighteen subfields of classic, interdisciplinary and applied conservation social sciences and articulates ten distinct contributions that the social sciences can make to understanding and improving conservation. In brief, the conservation social sciences can be valuable to conservation for descriptive, diagnostic, disruptive, reflexive, generative, innovative, or instrumental reasons. This review and supporting materials provides a succinct yet comprehensive reference for conservation scientists and practitioners. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate conservation policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust and effective.
... The social sciences are one means through which researchers and practitioners can come to understand the human dimensions of conservation and natural resource management. Indeed, the social sciences have been applied to understand diverse conservation and environmental management problems including, but not limited to, water governance (Armitage et al., 2012;Bakker, 2012;Curran, 2015), fisheries management (Heck et al., 2015;Symes and Hoefnagel, 2010;Wilson et al., 2013), agriculture landscape management (de Snoo et al., 2013), wildlife management (Clark et al., 2008;Gore et al., 2011;Teel and Manfredo, 2010), avian conservation (Kingston, 2016;Veríssimo et al., 2014), protected areas (Brockington and Wilkie, 2015;Ferraro and Pressey, 2015;Lockwood, 2010), forest management (Agrawal and Gupta, 2005;Allen et al., 2014;Ostrom and Nagendra, 2006;Stanturf et al., 2012) and marine conservation planning (Aswani and Hamilton, 2004;Ban et al., 2013;Cornu et al., 2014). The social sciences have also been used to research conservation and environmental management at all scales from local (Bennett et al., 2010) to regional (Pietri et al., 2015) and global (Fleischman et al., 2014). ...
... Overviews: (Decker et al., 2012;Heck et al., 2015;Kittinger et al., 2012) Examples: (Decker and Purdy, 1988;Hunt et al., 2013;Manfredo et al., 2003) Policy Sciences The field of policy sciences offers a meta-theoretical framework for analysis of and intervention in the conservation policy processes. This approach is applied to specific policy problems, focusing on that problem's context rather than seeking generalizable solutions. ...
Full-text available
Article
It has long been claimed that a better understanding of human or social dimensions of environmental issues will improve conservation. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can attain that better understanding. Yet, a lack of awareness of the scope and uncertainty about the purpose of the conservation social sciences impedes the conservation community's effective engagement with the human dimensions. This paper examines the scope and purpose of eighteen subfields of classic, interdisciplinary and applied conservation social sciences and articulates ten distinct contributions that the social sciences can make to understanding and improving conservation. In brief, the conservation social sciences can be valuable to conservation for descriptive, diagnostic, disruptive, reflexive, generative, innovative, or instrumental reasons. This review and supporting materials provides a succinct yet comprehensive reference for conservation scientists and practitioners. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate conservation policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust and effective.
... The tight linkage of people and nature in coupled SESs (Figure 1) is not new to fisheries scientists and managers (Larkin, 1978;Royce, 1983, Arlinghaus, 2004Hilborn, 2007). Unfortunately maybe, despite the early recognition of the importance of the social aspects in fisheries science (Gordon, 1954;Larkin, 1978;, the ecological and social sciences of recreational fisheries have largely developed independently Fenichel et al., 2013a;Heck et al., 2015). Academic tendencies toward increasing disciplinarity have ultimately led to a separation rather than integration of the ecological and social sciences in resource management, as evidenced by the formation of niche journals, such as the Human Dimensions of Wildlife, or textbooks either focused on the human dimensions of fish and wildlife (Decker et al., 2012) or fisheries ecology (Sass and Allen, 2014;Craig, 2016) with only tangential treatment of the interdisciplinary aspects of fisheries. ...
... Even within the human dimensions, socialpsychologists and economists have long expressed different world-views, theories and assumptions leading to little cross-fertilization and cross-referencing of each other's work (Fenichel et al., 2013a). Such academic silos have prevented the effective integration of social and ecological sciences in recreational fisheries (Heck et al., 2015), thereby constraining our understanding of the dynamics and effects of feedbacks among the social and ecological subsystems of recreational fisheries Ward et al., 2016). Better appreciating the various feedbacks among humans Figure 1. ...
Article
The state of knowledge on the science and management of freshwater recreational fisheries is reviewed, with the objective of integrating insights from disparate fields such as fisheries science, environmental complexity theory, common-pool-resource theory, and resilience theory. First, freshwater recreational fisheries are characterized as complex adaptive social-ecological systems (SESs). Subsequently, two interrelated frameworks, drawing on the Ostrom framework for the analysis of SESs and adaptive management as key foundations, are presented. These frameworks are useful to structure the complexity and apprehend the various feedbacks and links inherent in any particular recreational fisheries system. Moreover, the frameworks help to identify operational management strategies in the face of substantial social-ecological uncertainty. It is concluded that to understand and manage freshwater recreational fisheries as complex adaptive SESs, a sustained shift from disciplinary to inter- and sometimes trans
... The dominance of qualitative and mixed-methods approaches in our sample indicates that including cultural values into ecological restoration requires integrating across diverse epistemologies (Moon and Blackman 2014). For several decades, there has been a recognition that natural and social science integration faces an uphill battle due to differences in research methodologies (Bennett et al. 2017;Heck, Stedman, and Gaden 2015). Nonetheless, there is great value in dialogue between the two (Persson et al. 2018;Olsson and Jerneck 2018), and incorporating qualitative methods due to the intangible nature of culture (Mohr and Rawlings 2015). ...
Article
Ecological restoration is the process of repairing ecosystems that have been degraded by human activity. Because success depends upon the support of communities, engaging with the cultural values held by local people is critical to the restoration process. Cultural values are closely held beliefs about what is important to local communities, grounded in historical and contemporary cultural relationships with ecosystems. To address to what extent restoration projects in the peer-reviewed literature consider cultural values, we conducted a systematic review covering 1994–2021, resulting in a sample of 56 articles. From our review, we found that restoration projects include data on cultural values collected mostly through qualitative approaches. Concepts from cultural analysis, ecosystem services, and traditional ecological knowledge are commonly used to frame cultural values in restoration. Drawing on our results, we suggest a standardized process and set of best practices for practitioners and researchers incorporating cultural values into their restoration projects.
... Natural science knowledge alone will not be sufficient to assist the development of fisheries management measures to achieve multi-dimensional objectives. To effectively manage the complex fisheries system under such multi-dimensional management objectives, it is important to develop scientific advice based on trans-and multi-disciplinary research with a proper combination of biological analyses with social and economic considerations [25][26][27]. ...
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Article
Ensuring that fisheries policies are developed based on the best available science (BAS) is significant to sustainable fisheries management and Science-Based Fisheries Management (SBFM) thus is widely advocated worldwide. China is the largest marine fishing country in the world, but its marine fisheries management system’s capacity to implement SBFM has yet to be analyzed. In this study, we used System Thinking to diagnose China’s marine fisheries management system to determine whether the system is well equipped to operate SBFM. The system’s advantages and disadvantages in terms of BAS production and usage were identified. We concluded that China needs practical and proactive improvements in its legal and institutional framework, as well as data collection methods to enhance its SBFM. We proposed that China should mandate BAS-based fisheries policies in domestic fisheries legislation while also leveraging the new initiatives (including the newly formed expert advisory committees and the Total Allowable Catch pilot programs) to establish a structured fisheries decision-making process that allows interaction among multidisciplinary stakeholders and an integrated data system for collecting, storing, and verifying fisheries-related data.
... Natural science knowledge alone will not be sufficient to assist the development of fisheries management measures to achieve multi-dimensional objectives. To effectively manage the complex fisheries system under such multi-dimensional management objectives, a suitable combination of biological analyses with social and economic concerns is important (Heck et al., 2015;. ...
Article
Sustainable fisheries management requires decisions to be made based on sound science. To help ensure this, a Science-Based Fisheries Management (SBFM) system should be established to produce the best available science (BAS) and to ensure that the BAS forms the basis of decision-making. The goal of this dissertation is to look at how China, the world’s largest marine fisheries country, might build an effective SBFM system to enable its marine fisheries to attain sustainability. Studies were conducted to answer the following guiding questions: 1) what is SBFM? 2) why is it necessary for China to deploy SBFM? 3) what are China’s challenges, roadblocks, and opportunities in implementing SBFM?, and 4) how to overcome the obstacles by reforming China’s fisheries system. This dissertation is structured into four chapters. An extensive literature review was conducted in Chapter 1 to determine the concept and enablers of SBFM in the world. A framework that included a thorough set of criteria and a basic operational structure for SBFM was given. The evolution of China’s marine fisheries management practices from 1949 to 2019 was examined in Chapter 2 based on a comprehensive literature review and the researcher’s observations in meetings and conversations with Chinese fisheries experts. This Chapter provides materials to help people better understand the features and trends of China’s marine fisheries policies, as well as the characteristics of its marine capture fisheries. The study indicated that China’s sustainable marine fisheries management faces numerous challenges and hurdles, the majority of which are associated with SBFM - inefficient science-policy interactions and data shortages. The checklist of SBFM criteria defined in Chapter 1 was used in Chapter 3 to analyze China’s marine fisheries management system from a system engineering perspective. The benefits and drawbacks of the system for implementing SBFM were examined. Finally, in Chapter 4, the advantages and disadvantages of China’s marine fisheries management system were summarized, and recommendations for China’s marine fisheries reform with the goal of constructing a more successful SBFM were provided. This dissertation concluded that 1) China’s sustainable marine fisheries management cannot succeed without institutional reforms to support stronger science and its integration into fisheries policymaking; 2) reforming the fisheries management system from the perspective of system engineering can be an effective way to promote the production of better BAS and its use in policies; and, 3) use of the SBFM framework developed in this study can help China evaluate and reform its marine fisheries legal and institutional framework, and at the same time leverage the localized TAC pilot programs to develop and test a structured approach for SBFM. With the expansion of TAC pilots, the approach can be revised accordingly and finally inform the development and implementation of SBFM at large.
... Firstly, knowledge about human behaviour in general, and fisher behaviour in particular, is primarily held within the social (fishery) sciences and, with the exception of fisheries economics, is less visible in the fisheries literature which is dominated by natural science contributions. This lack of visibility means that many fisheries scientists, decision-makers and regulators remain unfamiliar with the contributions that social science knowledge, theories and methods can make in fisheries science and management (Heck, Stedman, & Gaden, 2015). Secondly, fisheries management is often supported by, and dependent upon, formal modelling (Hall-Arber, Pomeroy, & Conway, 2009). ...
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Article
Despite improved knowledge and stricter regulations, numerous fish stocks remain overharvested. Previous research has shown that fisheries management may fail when the models and assessments used to inform management are based on unrealistic assumptions regarding fishers' decision‐making and responses to policies. Improving the understanding of fisher behaviour requires addressing its diversity and complexity through the integration of social science knowledge into modelling. In our paper, we review and synthesize state‐of‐the‐art research on both social science's understanding of fisher behaviour and the representation of fisher decision‐making in scientific models. We then develop and experiment with an agent‐based social–ecological fisheries model that formalizes three different fishing styles. Thereby we reflect on the implications of our incorporation of behavioural diversity and contrast it with the predominant assumption in fishery models: fishing practices being driven by rational profit maximizing. We envision a next generation of fisheries models and management that account for social scientific knowledge on individual and collective human behaviours. Through our agent‐based model, we demonstrate how such an integration is possible and propose a scientific approach for reducing uncertainty based on human behavioural diversity in fisheries. This study serves to lay the foundations for a next generation of social–ecological fishery models that account for human behavioural diversity and social and ecological complexity that are relevant for a realistic assessment and management of fishery sustainability problems.
... Successful application of this collaborative approach requires a study design in which shared goals and the roles of the collaborating entities are defined upfront; thus, lending legitimacy to both the methods and research products [20][21][22]. However, case-specific research designs are often necessary given that fundamental structural and cultural differences often exist both within and between fishery stakeholder groups [23,24]. For example, there are a preponderance of studies that reveal behavior, perception, and motivation differences in recreational (i.e., for leisure) fisheries [e.g., [25,[26][27][28][29][30]]. A spectrum of fishing activity exists in commercial fisheries as well, from owner-operated (i.e., boat owners are also the captains) to fully rationalized, cooperatively organized fleets (i.e., The concept of rationalization, whereby organized fishing cooperatives or sectors create incentives to encourage internal cooperation and reduce inefficiencies has occurred throughout the U.S. as managers and fishers have attempted to eliminate the race-to-fish). ...
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Article
Fisheries management should account for the tradeoffs associated with regulatory options to minimize unin-tended consequences and undue impacts on stakeholder communities. Importantly, these assessments necessitate the inclusion of the perceptions of resource users to help anticipate consequences. While stakeholder involvement is a central tenet in federal fisheries management, managers are faced with many challenges such as those associated with collecting perspectives from diverse groups and the potential biases associated with public testimony. Here we demonstrate the strength of a collaborative approach to generating social information from a commercial fishing cooperative (i.e., an association) by partnering with the Pollock Conservation Cooperative, a fishing cooperative for the Bering Sea pollock Catcher/Processor fleet in Alaska. To understand how the fleet may respond to hypothetical regulatory and environmental changes, we collaboratively designed a survey and applied a novel participant-selection strategy that focused on personnel involved in decision-making at the corporate and vessel levels. Our findings revealed that respondents from separate companies and with different performance histories had different perceptions, suggesting that broad fleet-level analyses are critical for management strategy evaluations that seek to understand the impacts of environmental change and regulatory decisions on a fishery. As such, establishing lines of applied sociological research could benefit from a collaborative approach that accounts for the fishery's organizational structure.
... These actions are performed in relation to an array of environmental issues, from aquatic invasive species (Kemp et al. 2017) to resource consumption (Poortinga et al. 2004;Steg et al. 2005) and natural area conservation (Halpenny 2010;Van Riper and Kyle 2014). Given the importance of understanding how anglers interact with fishery resources (Ward et al. 2013;Heck et al. 2015), previous research has examined behaviors such as removing aquatic plants and sediments from boats, trailers, and equipment, throwing away unused bait and fish waste in trash facilities rather than in waterways, and draining water in boats, livewells, and buckets before leaving recreation settings (Seekamp et al. 2016). ...
... This is especially important if recreational fishers are targeting threatened or protected species (Arlinghaus et al., 2010;Cooke et al., 2016). Social research can aid understanding the behaviour of the general public or stakeholders towards natural resources (Heck et al., 2015). In the case of recreational fishing, social research aims to integrate angler knowledge and attitudes into the management framework and increase the likelihood of the uptake of new management regulations Hunt et al., 2013;Simpfendorfer et al., 2011). ...
Thesis
With the increase in global fishing effort and expansion of fishing fleets into the open ocean, large predatory fishes are under increasing threat of extinction. Understanding the impacts of open ocean fisheries on top predators, such as sharks, is critical to the management of these fisheries, particularly for species caught as bycatch. In the past decade, several species of pelagic sharks have been recognised as vulnerable migratory species and included on Appendix II of the List of Migratory Species on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). As a signatory to the CMS, Australia is committed to progressing actions that will improve the management and conservation of these species. The major objectives of this study were to investigate the levels of commercial and recreational catches of migratory pelagic shark species and to determine the factors that influence these catches in Australian waters. I used a permutational analysis of pop-up satellite telemetry data to define the vertical movement patterns of five blue sharks (Prionace glauca) and one common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus). I conducted a survey of recreational game fishers to determine the level of catch of shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and A. vulpinus within this fishery and to investigate fishers’ behaviours and attitudes towards sharks. Generalised and distance based linear modelling techniques were used to investigate commercial catches of A. vulpinus in the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery and P. glauca, I. oxyrinchus, Lamna nasus and Alopias spp. in the Eastern and Western Tuna and Billfish Fisheries. The minimum horizontal displacement of satellite tagged sharks was variable, with the largest displacement exceeding 5 000 km and pop-up locations indicating the importance of highly productive upwelling areas. Movement patterns included surface-oriented, reverse diel vertical, and normal diel vertical movements, with the latter being the most common pattern identified for both P. glauca and A. vulpinus. Catch and release of pelagic sharks was practised by over half of the recreational anglers that were surveyed at game fishing tournaments. The majority of anglers asserted that they attempt to release sharks in good condition, but there was a relatively low use of circle hooks, that have been shown to increase post-release survival. Season and depth were the most important explanatory variables for catch rates of A. vulpinus in gillnet fisheries operating in South-eastern Australia. Catch rates were higher in summer and there was an inverse relationship between catch rate and depth. In pelagic longline fisheries, sea surface temperature was the most important environmental variable that influenced catches of P. glauca, I. oxyrinchus, and L. nasus, while depth was the most important variable for Alopias spp. It is important that measures implemented by managers are based on evidence of the level of threat that fisheries pose to these highly migratory pelagic shark species. For recreational anglers, an increased emphasis on tagging competitions at tournaments and promotion of catch and release, and associated best practices should improve the sustainability of tournament angling. The importance of diel movements, depth preference, season, and temperature are highlighted by the satellite telemetry and analysis of gillnet and longline data. A better understanding of these parameters provides critical information for assessing the encounterability and susceptibility of pelagic sharks to different gear types within Australian waters.
... These actions are performed in relation to an array of environmental issues, from aquatic invasive species (Kemp et al. 2017) to resource consumption (Poortinga et al. 2004;Steg et al. 2005) and natural area conservation (Halpenny 2010;Van Riper and Kyle 2014). Given the importance of understanding how anglers interact with fishery resources (Ward et al. 2013;Heck et al. 2015), previous research has examined behaviors such as removing aquatic plants and sediments from boats, trailers, and equipment, throwing away unused bait and fish waste in trash facilities rather than in waterways, and draining water in boats, livewells, and buckets before leaving recreation settings (Seekamp et al. 2016). ...
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Article
Human behaviors that contribute to the spread of aquatic invasive species are influenced by myriad social psychological factors that vary across contexts and populations. Understanding such behavior is crucial for forming successful management strategies that minimize environmental impacts while generating support and cooperation among stakeholders. We identify several reasons why recreational anglers and boaters make decisions that benefit the environment. Specifically, our study addresses the following objectives: (1) examine reported behaviors that minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species, (2) test the effects of social normative beliefs on reported behaviors, and (3) determine the role of human-nature relationships in explaining behavioral patterns. Drawing on a path model of the decisions made by respondents who completed an on-site survey at two nature-based case study sites in Illinois, we observed that reported behavior was positively influenced by normative beliefs about those behaviors and human-nature relationships. Specifically, the Participant in Nature and Partner with Nature orientations were positively and negatively correlated with norms, respectively. In turn, norms positively predicted reported stewardship behaviors. These findings advance research on the human dimensions of aquatic invasive species by providing insights on the role of stable psychological processes that shape behavior, while informing management decisions aimed at minimizing biological invasions in freshwater ecosystems.
... With the appearance and development of interdisciplinary research fields, the interaction between HSS and HS was gradually emphasized [30][31][32][33]. Many studies attempted to explore how HS research or programs learned from HSS, such as analysis methods, management tools and theories, to make it run smooth or grow more socially-robust [34][35][36]. However, some impediments hinder the participation of HSS with HS. ...
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Article
Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) increasingly absorb knowledge from Hard Sciences, i.e., Science, Technology, Agriculture and Medicine (STAM), as testified by a growing number of citations. However, whether citing more Hard Sciences brings more citations to HSS remains to be investigated. Based on China’s HSS articles indexed by the Web of Science during 1998–2014, this paper estimated two-way fixed effects negative binomial models, with journal effects and year effects. Findings include: (1) An inverse U-shaped curve was observed between the percentage of STAM references to the HSS articles and the number of citations they received; (2) STAM contributed increasing knowledge to China’s HSS, while Science and Technology knowledge contributed more citations to HSS articles. It is recommended that research policy should be adjusted to encourage HSS researchers to adequately integrate STAM knowledge when conducting interdisciplinary research, as over-cited STAM knowledge may jeopardize the readability of HSS articles.
... We argue that a relentless focus on informing policy through understanding and actively participating in policy processes as well as co-producing knowledge and building trust will yield dividends that lay the foundations for more resilient and adaptive environmental and sustainable decision-making. The ten tips identified in this study are the distillation of a wealth of personal experiences from leading experts at the science-policy interface, and they align strongly with the convergence of a diverse body of research relating to science impact [27,[41][42][43][44][45]. The advice, therefore, is likely to be more broadly useful to scientists than to those only within the social sciences. ...
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Failure to stem trends of ecological disruption and associated loss of ecosystem services worldwide is partly due to the inadequate integration of the human dimension into environmental decision-making. Decision-makers need knowledge of the human dimension of resource systems and of the social consequences of decision-making if environmental management is to be effective and adaptive. Social scientists have a central role to play, but little guidance exists to help them influence decision-making processes. We distil 348 years of cumulative experience shared by 31 environmental experts across three continents into advice for social scientists seeking to increase their influence in the environmental policy arena. Results focus on the importance of process, engagement, empathy and acumen and reveal the importance of understanding and actively participating in policy processes through co-producing knowledge and building trust. The insights gained during this research might empower a science-driven cultural change in science-policy relations for the routine integration of the human dimension in environmental decision making; ultimately for an improved outlook for earth’s ecosystems and the billions of people that depend on them.
... The need for the inclusion of socio-economic data into decision making processes is becoming more widely recognized within the field of fisheries management [8,18,23,25,26,33,40,46,47]. Scenario development is one way that scientists can build a decision support tool that incorporates both socio-economic and biophysical data. ...
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The Kenai River Fishery is a unique social–ecological system (SES) with nearly 50 federal, state, local, and nonprofit groups influencing its political, ecological, and social structure. While ecological data exists for this fishery, the complexity of its stakeholder relationships has not been investigated. Stakeholder interactions can directly influence how science is integrated into management decisions and therefore affect the adaptive capacity of SES, such as the Kenai River Fishery. Drawing from the existing stakeholder literature, this methods identifies and ranks the key SES stakeholders and describes their roles. This study approached the question of which stakeholders should be included in a future SES adaptive capacity study by (1) identifying the key stakeholders within the Kenai River Fishery, (2) ranking each stakeholder’s investment within the fishery using eleven categories of interaction, and (3) using these eleven categories to characterize each stakeholder's role within the SES. The largest number of stakeholders fall into the secondary investment category, showing that a relatively small number of resource managers are interacting with a large number of diverse nonprofit organizations. The top ranking stakeholders in this study will be invited to attend participatory scenarios workshops that will build the foundation for a deeper scenarios-based analysis of SES adaptive capacity.
... We see this as a beneficial, but limiting approach. Recent research indicates that fisheries managers are hampered not only by a lack of knowledge surrounding social science, but also a lack of tools to help them integrate such data into the decision-making process (Heck et al. 2015). Managers cannot, for instance, gauge the relative importance of a way of life compared to the value of an endangered species. ...
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This paper describes how relational place-making, with its focus on power dynamics, networked politics, and non-market, locally-valued characteristics, provides a useful framework for managers to better design fishing community policies. Social data, while becoming more common in fisheries management analyses, are typically restricted to quantitative measures that often cannot adequately summarize dynamics within fishing communities. In contrast, detailed ethnographic research and the theoretical framework of relational place-making can provide a useful methodology through which to gather social data to understand resource-dependent communities and the effects of fisheries management policies in these places. Relational place-making describes the process through which physical spaces are transformed into socially meaningful places, and how these understandings are contested and negotiated among different groups of actors. These contested narratives of place, called place-frames, can interact with economic development efforts to help create (or fail to create) sustainable communities. To better understand the efficacy of a specific fisheries policy, the community development quota (CDQ) program, we conducted 6 months of ethnographic research in the rural, Native communities of St. George and St. Paul, Alaska. In both communities we found that local place-frames centered on local empowerment and control. In St. George, local place-frames conflicted with place-frames advanced by CDQ employees, and locals were unable to align place-making goals with local economic realities. In St. Paul, local residents and CDQ employees shared a place-frame, allowing them to accomplish numerous local development goals. However, differences in place-frames advanced by other political entities on the island often complicated development initiatives. This study supports previous research indicating that policies and development projects that increase local power and self-determination are most successful in furthering community sustainability and well-being. This study indicates that relational place-making can illuminate local goals and desires and is therefore of great utility to the fisheries management decision-making process.
... Recreational fisheries are inherently complex and management must consider the social and economic benefits of recreational fishing along with the effects that fishers have on both fish populations and the environment [24]. Social research can aid understanding the behaviour of the general public or stakeholders towards natural resources [25]. In the case of recreational fishing, social research aims to integrate angler knowledge and attitudes into the management framework and increase the likelihood of the uptake of new management regulations [24,26,27]. ...
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The behavioral patterns of recreational anglers are an increasingly common focus of fishery management agencies, particularly due to the unintentional spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Previous research in this area has focused on understanding stakeholder awareness, use patterns, and beliefs. Although informative, these drivers of behavior are easily shifted by new information and thus potentially less influential for encouraging long‐term behavior change. There is a pressing need to account for the effects of human values in management AIS because values are a fundamental driver of behavior that changes slowly over time and represents a core basis for angler decision‐making. Therefore, this study assessed the relationships among values, risk perceptions, and reported AIS prevention behavior to inform management decisions aimed at minimizing angler transport of AIS. We generated a dataset from a mixed‐mode survey of license holding recreational anglers from counties adjacent to the Great Lakes in three US states (n=788). Results from a structural equation model revealed that biospheric values positively predicted social and personal risk perceptions. Personal risk perceptions in turn positively predicted private and public dimensions of reported behaviors related to reducing the spread of AIS. Efforts to reduce the spread of AIS within the study context would be best served by emphasizing the personal impacts rather than broader social and ecological consequences from biological invasions. Agencies should also shift their attention to thinking about the role of values in explaining how people process and respond to environmental threats and degradation from AIS.
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This dissertation applies feminist theory to investigate women’s participation in wildlife-based recreation and how natural resource management organizations conduct stakeholder engagement in a North American context. Gendered social processes, including norms and expectations, as well as gendered cultures, can constrain women’s participation in recreation through social sanctions and disenfranchisement. Gender and leisure scholars have studied these dynamics in sport and leisure contexts, but how individuals negotiate these constraints is understudied in a wildlife-based recreation context. Social constructions of gender also contribute to imbalances of power within formal natural resource management organizations and influence how stakeholder engagement policies and programs are implemented and evaluated. I applied a mixed methods approach to study how women’s recreational fishing participation trends, and their first-hand fishing experiences, are impacted by gendered expectations among both recreational anglers and fisheries managers. Demographic analysis of women’s fishing participation patterns in the Great Lakes region show women’s fishing participation varies by age and generation. To confirm gender-related reasons for these differences, I conducted a feminist participatory project that provided space for women to share how their fishing experiences were impacted by gendered social processes, age, birth cohort, and other intersecting aspects of their lives and identities. Using the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program as a case study, I demonstrated how historically gendered assumptions about how men and women should interact with fisheries and wildlife can constrain stakeholder engagement programs that serve women by limiting organizations’ ability to evaluate program outcomes and social value. As a whole, this dissertation critically examines women’s experiences as fisheries stakeholders and questions the gendered approaches natural resource organization rely on to engage with women. Key contributions of this body of work include identifying how women and natural resource organizations both perpetuate and resist gendered expectations and norms. Understanding how gender influences North American natural resource management requires creative and more nuanced research approaches that consider how gender intersects with other socially institutionalized systems, processes, and identities.
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The current fishing pressure in Lake Victoria, Tanzania indicates that the Nile perch (Lates niloticus) is overfished and no regulations are enforced to maintain a sustainable fishery despite its significant contribution to the economy. This study examines the determinants of Nile perch overfishing and its intensity in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, using a double-hurdle model that is based on baseline survey data collected from 268 Nile perch fishers. The model analysed the data in two sequential hurdles, the first hurdle being whether or not a Nile perch fisher overfished (probability of overfishing), and the second hurdle being the difference between the actual average catch size and the minimum slot size of 50 cm total length (TL) (intensity of overfishing). The study revealed that different socio-economic, institutional and fishing effort influence Nile perch overfishing and its intensity in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. This, therefore, suggests that, to attain a balance between sustainable fishery management and the livelihood for Nile perch fishers in Lake Victoria, there is a need for the government to design policies that will consider the dynamics of the institutional setup and fishing effort in this lake.
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Praised for its potential to stimulate creativity and innovation and to facilitate dealing with complex issues, interdisciplinary may also impair goal attainment and generate group conflicts. This study combines a large literature review and a case study of a workgroup having successfully benefit from its interdisciplinarity to reach its goal. We propose an articulation of the various processes of workgroups with regards to the benefits and obstacles of interdisciplinarity. We model how positive actions are enacted in key areas of interdisciplinary team dynamics: common ground development, interdisciplinary know-how and skills, equitable power dynamics, significant symbolic communication and a diversified spatial and structural organization.
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Despite an obvious benefit by involving society in conservation research, interdisciplinary research remains the exception and not the norm. Integration of natural and social science into interdisciplinary conservation research poses several challenges related to (1) different perspectives and theories of knowledge, (2) mismatches in expectations of appropriate data (i.e. quantitative v. qualitative, accuracy), (3) an absence of agreed frameworks and communication issues and (4) different publishing protocols and approaches for reaching conclusions. Hence, when embarking on an interdisciplinary conservation project, there are several stereotypic challenges that may be met along the way. On the basis of experiences with an interdisciplinary sturgeon conservation project, several recommendations are presented for those considering (or considering not!) to establish interdisciplinary conservation research. Despite an obvious benefit by involving society in conservation research, interdisciplinary research remains the exception and not the norm. Integration of natural and social science into interdisciplinary conservation research poses several challenges related to (1) different perspectives and theories of knowledge, (2) mismatches in expectations of appropriate data (i.e. quantitative v. qualitative, accuracy), (3) an absence of agreed frameworks and communication issues and (4) different publishing protocols and approaches for reaching conclusions. Hence, when embarking on an interdisciplinary conservation project, there are several stereotypic challenges that may be met along the way. On the basis of experiences with an interdisciplinary sturgeon conservation project, several recommendations are presented for those considering (or considering not!) to establish interdisciplinary conservation research.
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This chapter reviews the literature to understand the significance of making decisions about the prevention and/or control of invasive alien species (IAS) that ignore impacts on ecosystem services. It reports damage costs associated with IAS in monetary terms. The costs presented for various provisioning, regulating, and cultural services may be roughly comparable since most of the literature mostly clusters around the early 2000s. Whether damage costs of any magnitude will change the way IAS is managed will naturally depend on the benefits of the activities that lead to the introduction and spread of each species. Identifying potential damage costs and estimating their magnitude is a positive first step towards properly accounting for the full impact of IAS.
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Altered thermal regimes under climate change may influence host-parasite interactions and invasive species, both potentially impacting valuable ecosystem services. There is considerable interest in how parasite life cycle rates, growth, and impacts on hosts will change under altered environmental temperatures. Likewise, transformed thermal regimes may reduce natural resistance and barriers preventing establishment of invasive species or alter the range and impacts of established exotic species. The Laurentian Great Lakes are some of the most invaded ecosystems and have been profoundly shaped by exotic species. Invasion by the parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) contributed to major declines in many Great Lakes fish populations. In Lake Superior, substantial progress has been made towards controlling invasive sea lamprey and rehabilitating native fish populations. Surface water temperatures in Lake Superior have been increasing rapidly since 1980 presenting a new challenge for management. Here we test how thermal changes in Lake Superior have impacted the feeding and growth of the parasitic sea lamprey. Sea lamprey have increased in size corresponding with longer durations of thermal habitat (i.e., longer growing seasons) for their preferred hosts. To compare regional differences in sea lamprey feeding and growth rates, we used a bioenergetics model with temperature estimates from a lake-wide hydrodynamic model hindcast from 1979–2006. Spatial differences in patterns of warming across the lake result in regionally different predictions for increases in sea lamprey feeding rates and size. These predictions were matched by data from adult sea lamprey spawning in streams draining into these different thermal regions. Larger sea lampreys will be more fecund and have increased feeding rates, thus increasing mortality among host fishes. Resource management should consider these climate driven regional impacts when allocating resources to sea lamprey control efforts. Under new and evolving thermal regimes, successful management systems may need to be restructured for changing phenology, growth, and shifts in host-parasite systems towards greater impacts on host populations.
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Integrated research across disciplines is required to address many of the pressing environmental problems facing human societies. Often the integration involves disparate disciplines, including those in the biological sciences, and demands collaboration from problem formulation through hypothesis development, data analysis, interpretation, and application. Such projects raise conceptual and methodological challenges that are new to many researchers in the biological sciences and to their collaborators in other disciplines. In this article, we develop the theme that many of these challenges are fundamentally philosophical, a dimension that has been largely overlooked in the extensive literature on cross-disciplinary research and education. We present a "toolbox for philosophical dialogue," consisting of a set of questions for self-examination that cross-disciplinary collaborators can use to identify and address their philosophical disparities and commonalities. We provide a brief user's manual for this toolbox and evidence for its effectiveness in promoting successful integration across disciplines.
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The use of live bait by anglers is an important vector of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. Bait-bucket introductions of invasive crayfishes, fishes, earthworms, pathogens, and other organisms have reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem function and structure throughout the United States, including the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2008, we conducted a telephone survey of bait shops and a mail survey of anglers to obtain information on the trade and use of bait in Maryland, a US state with many introduced bait species. Our telephone survey of bait shops confirmed that this industry is a source of non-native and invasive species in Maryland. Our survey documented at least six non-native bait species for sale in the state. With the exception of a few locally collected bait species, bait sold in Maryland originated from sources outside of the state, and in some cases, outside the Mid-Atlantic region. Results of our angler survey indicated that 64% of Maryland freshwater anglers, both resident and non-resident, used live bait and that the release of unused live bait was quite common and occurred statewide. The release of unused bait by anglers varied with bait type. Anglers more readily released aquatic than terrestrial baits. For example, 65 and 69% of Maryland anglers using fishes and crayfishes released their unused bait; whereas only 18 and 10% of anglers released their unused earthworms and grubs-mealworms-maggots, respectively. Our surveys indicated that any non-native, potentially invasive species imported into the state via the bait industry is likely to be released by anglers into Maryland’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many of these species have the potential to become established in the state. These results illustrate the need for greater oversight of the bait industry, development of consistent regulations on bait use, and a region-wide education campaign aimed at changing anglers’ behavior regarding bait use and its disposal. We recommend specific management actions that, if implemented, would greatly reduce further bait-bucket introductions and provide protection against invasive bait species in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region.
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Theory behind ecosystem-based management (EBM) and ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) is now well developed. However, the implementation of EBFM exemplified by fisheries management in Europe is still largely based on single-species assessments and ignores the wider ecosystem context and impact. The reason for the lack or slow implementation of EBM and specifically EBFM is a lack of a coherent strategy. Such a strategy is offered by recently developed integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs), a formal synthesis tool to quantitatively analyse information on relevant natural and socio-economic factors, in relation to specified management objectives. Here, we focus on implementing the IEA approach for Baltic Sea fish stocks. We combine both tactical and strategic management aspects into a single strategy that supports the present Baltic Sea fish stock advice, conducted by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). We first review the state of the art in the development of IEA within the current management framework. We then outline and discuss an approach that integrates fish stock advice and IEAs for the Baltic Sea. We intentionally focus on the central Baltic Sea and its three major fish stocks cod (Gadus morhua), herring (Clupea harengus), and sprat (Sprattus sprattus), but emphasize that our approach may be applied to other parts and stocks of the Baltic, as well as other ocean areas.
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The relationship between social sciences and natural sciences in the natural resource area is explored. Five barriers to joint involvement of the social and natural sciences include the weakness of the social sciences, a perceived illegitimacy of the social sciences, the punishments associated with interdisciplinary research, the lack of disciplinary support structures, and conflicts over power and control.Progress toward bringing research together in these two clusters of disciplines might be enhanced by institutional and administrative support to develop specific research structures for interdisciplinary natural resource related research; the physical, social, and organizational integration necessary to improve the image of interdisciplinary research and to increase rewards for individual scientists; and efforts to improve the science by specific funding for interdisciplinary natural resource research.
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Fisheries managers increasingly are aware of the need to incorporate human dimensions information into decision making. To gather such information, many agencies conduct angler surveys using a variety of approaches. In 1994, we conducted a mail survey to assess the status of human dimensions studies (not including creel surveys) conducted by state, territorial, and provincial fishery management agencies. Questionnaires were sent to the heads of 69 fishery agencies with the request that they be completed by the agency's human dimensions contact person. Fifty-nine surveys were returned for a response rate of 86%. Most (81%) survey respondents reported their agency had conducted at least 1 provincewide or statewide survey of anglers; 66% had completed a survey within the past 5 years. Most (53%) agencies used mail surveys. Survey sample sizes (range = 300–20,000) and costs (range = US$300–$150,000) varied widely depending on the type of survey conducted; eighty percent were paid for by a combination of state (or provincial) and federal funds. Most respondents (> 50%) reported that their agencies attached greater importance to human dimensions information such as angler support of regulations, angler attitudes and opinions, angler satisfaction, and economic information, but < 50% viewed public opinion, anglers' motives for fishing, market segmentation, and angler demographics as important. Our results provide a baseline by which future progress in human dimensions research and application can be measured.
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Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and walleye (Sander vitreus). Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km(2) per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km(2) per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species.
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This manuscript is an outcome of the workshop entitled ‘‘Scientific Strategy for a Global Approach to Promote Regional Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas’’ held in Séte (France) in July 2012. The workshop was organized by Work-Package 6 of the coordination action ‘‘Coordinating Research in Support to Application of Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Management Advice in the Mediterranean and Black Seas’’ (CREAM), funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme. The main aim of the workshop was to discuss what is needed to advance on a robust scientific strategy to promote EAF in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Participants discussed a series of scientific recommendations for promoting the coordination of initiatives with the aim of contributing to an operational EAF. Discussion was carried out on (i) what can be learnt from case studies that promote EAF worldwide, (ii) how a scientific strategy for EAF can be built, and (iii) which are the future scientific networking activities to promote EAF. Here we summarize the discussions and conclusions of the workshop, and we present the recommendations and future initiatives proposed to advance EAF in the Mediterranean and Black Seas region.
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It has been acknowledged that natural sciences alone cannot provide an adequate basis for the management of complex environmental problems. The scientific knowledge base has to be expanded in a more holistic direction by incorporating social and economic issues. As well, the multifaceted knowledge has to be summarized in a form that can support science-based decision making. This is, however, difficult. Interdisciplinary skills, practices, and methodologies are needed that enable the integration of knowledge from conceptually different disciplines. Through a focus on our research process, we analyzed how and what kind of interdisciplinarity between natural scientists, environmental economists, and social scientists grew from the need to better understand the complexity and uncertainty inherent to the Baltic salmon fisheries, and how divergent knowledge was integrated in a form that can support science-based decision making. The empirical findings suggest that interdisciplinarity is an extensive learning process that takes place on three levels: between individuals, between disciplines, and between types of knowledge. Such a learning process is facilitated by agreeing to a methodological epoch and by formulating a global question at the outset of a process.
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Recreational boats in tow between lakes are a known vector of the spread of aquatic invading species (AIS), but we have no test of the hypothesis that recreational boats are also a vector of secondary spread of AIS among freshwater ecosystems via in-water transport i.e., while boating between interconnected waterways. In this study, we surveyed recreational boaters travelling into Lake Simcoe (44�250N, 79�200W), Ontario, Canada, on their recreational activities, boat maintenance, and travel destinations, measured the degree of vessel fouling, and sampled all standing water and attached macrophytes associated with their vessels. A total of 321 zooplankton individuals comprising 15 different species were collected from the standing water in vessels, including veligers of the invasive zebra mussel Dreissena. The volume of water collected within the vessels significantly increased the number of zooplankton transported. Zooplankton species from pelagic habitats or with planktonic life stages were collected more frequently than species that occupy littoral or benthic habitats, likely reflecting the recreational activities of boaters. Patterns of boater activities, movements and hygiene habits, suggest recreational boating in the Lake Simcoe region is contributing to the spread of native and invasive species into nearby waterways. Our study validates the widespread assumption that recreational boats are an important in-water vector for the secondary spread of both native and invasive zooplankton species. Future management strategies to reduce the spread of AIS should be aimed at increasing awareness of boater hygiene practices, particularly the frequent draining of standing water.
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Tropical forest management is a quintessential interdisciplinary (ID) problem straddling the social-natural divide, and has attracted scholars from many disciplines. This paper is a review of the ID research on tropical forests with a view to understanding the challenges involved in doing ID environmental research in general and the manner in which they might be addressed. Research on two core interdisciplinary questions in tropical forest research, namely causes of tropical forest loss and degradation and its impacts on society, is analysed to illuminate issues facing ID researchers. The challenges stem from differences in implicit values, theories and epistemologies across disciplines, as well as the relationship between individual disciplines, the ID space and the wider applied research audience. Understanding the value-laden nature of terms such as forest loss and degradation leads to a multidimensional and multidisciplinary characterization of the impact of forest change on human well-being. The analysis of causes of change has been enriched by ID research in which forest outcomes are characterized explicitly in terms of their values, measured in terms relevant to these values and linked to chains of socioeconomic variables at the appropriate scale. Explanations from different disciplines may be reconciled to some extent by seeing each as partial and perhaps having context-specific validity, although some core tensions, especially between economists and anthropologists, remain. Insights from ID research have been unevenly internalized in the literature, pointing to the absence of a broadly shared ID space as a consequence of individual social science disciplines appropriating environment as a subject of study. Shifting from theory-driven to problem-driven research and re-engaging self-consciously in this applied ID space will be required to generate more rigorous and relevant ID research on forests.
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In recreational fishing, high and often selective angling mortality coupled with deleterious management actions such as stocking non-native fish can, under certain situations, impact fish communities and entire ecosystems. To counterbalance these impacts, an ecosystem approach to recreational fisheries may be needed. This chapter reviews the meaning and relevance of the ecosystem approach for recreational fisheries focusing on inland waters. It examines the principles behind the approach and potential constraints on adoption in recreational fisheries management. Most of the principles of the ecosystem approach for recreational fisheries are already enrooted in a properly defined sustainability paradigm. Thus, the concept is not new. For its success, it is important to account for the vital role of the human dimension in at least two areas: setting of management objectives and expecting paradoxical dynamics resulting from the anglers' behaviour. Local capacity-building and self-empowerment of anglers to internalize the importance of an ecosystem approach to recreational fisheries management is crucial if recreational fisheries are to be integrated into the wider framework of aquatic ecosystem management.
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We construct a fishery model which simulates: (a) stochastic population fluctuations and (b) harvest shifts between commercial and sport user groups. This model then assesses, for both commercial and sport harvesters, the bioeconomic impact of an ongoing rehabilitation plan for the yellow perch fishery of Green Bay, Lake Michigan. Overall economic gains from this plan are positive, with sport anglers reaping sizeable benefits, while commercial harvesters lose moderately. Using probing exercises which approximate economic optimization, the efficient allocation of harvest between sport and commercial user groups is also explored. Uncertainties about sport effort levels greatly influence this optimal allocation.
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The current global fisheries crises have immense implications for the health and viability of animal populations, as well as the ecosystems and habitats that support this biodiversity. These crises have provoked a wide variety of management solutions and alternatives that are closely aligned with other small-scale resource extraction conservation approaches, but have been analyzed separately from the common-pool resource management literature. We summarize findings from an analysis of progressive small-scale fisheries worldwide and find that solutions arise from a historical trial and error management process as problems become dire. We find high success in the social organization and regulation of resources among these progressive fisheries but poor evidence for improved ecosystems. Based on evidence provided by the most progressive fisheries, we suggest a change in policy towards the management of small-scale fisheries. This change includes four major avenues of problem solving that focus on facilitating socio-ecological processes rather than primarily promoting a high level of quantitative science and implementing findings, technological concepts, or tools. Adoption is often culturally and context specific and, therefore, the above often have poor success when not socially integrated. We encourage facilitating and catalyzing local-level adoption of rules that create limits to appropriation and technology, since it is increasingly recognized that such limits are key solutions to the threats. This will be achieved if policy and actions (1) encourage professionalism (formation of “societies”, setting standards, certification, self-policing, appropriate technology, etc.), (2) create forums where all opinions about solutions, the status of targeted species, and environmental requirements are represented, (3) promote social rules that consider the realities and limits of the households and local social economy, and (4) craft solutions tailored to the specific and agreed upon diagnoses. We predict that as this socio-ecological process matures, it will also increase the inclusiveness of resource management goals to include non-use factors, such as biodiversity and other ecosystem services, which are still poorly evaluated and managed in even the most progressive small-scale fisheries.
Conference Paper
Jurisdictional authority over Great Lakes fishery management rests with independent, non-federal governments—the Province of Ontario, the eight Great Lakes states, and U.S. tribes. This independence undermined repeated attempts by the jurisdictions from at least the mid-1800s to the 1940s to coordinate their disparate fishery management activities. Cooperation began to emerge after the sea lamprey invasion reached crisis stage by the 1940s and thus forced collective action, after the non-regulatory Great Lakes Fishery Commission was formed in the 1950s and served as a focal point for discussions, and after the commission created lake committees in the 1960s. The threat of federal intrusion into non-federal management, the commission’s continuing leadership, and the spirit of an era of environmentalism in the 1970s prompted the jurisdictions to formalize their interactions by developing A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries in 1981. With a history of parochialism as a backdrop, this presentation discusses how and why a cooperative regime emerged and argues that today’s fishery management process is rooted in political fragmentation, sovereignty, sentiments of independence, and jealously guarded authorities. Cooperation was prompted by crisis and leadership and the structure and goals of the Joint Strategic Plan reflect the history of Great Lakes fishery management. This presentation concludes with a discussion of current Great Lakes fishery governance through the Joint Strategic Plan.
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Natural scientists are increasingly interested in social research because they recognize that conservation problems are commonly social problems. Interpreting social research, however, requires at least a basic understanding of the philosophical principles and theoretical assumptions of the discipline, which are embedded in the design of social research. Natural scientists who engage in social science but are unfamiliar with these principles and assumptions can misinterpret their results. We developed a guide to assist natural scientists in understanding the philosophical basis of social science to support the meaningful interpretation of social research outcomes. The 3 fundamental elements of research are ontology, what exists in the human world that researchers can acquire knowledge about; epistemology, how knowledge is created; and philosophical perspective, the philosophical orientation of the researcher that guides her or his action. Many elements of the guide also apply to the natural sciences. Natural scientists can use the guide to assist them in interpreting social science research to determine how the ontological position of the researcher can influence the nature of the research; how the epistemological position can be used to support the legitimacy of different types of knowledge; and how philosophical perspective can shape the researcher's choice of methods and affect interpretation, communication, and application of results. The use of this guide can also support and promote the effective integration of the natural and social sciences to generate more insightful and relevant conservation research outcomes. Una Guía para Entender la Investigación de Ciencias Sociales para las Ciencias Naturales Katie Moon.
Article
Despite recreational fisheries serving as a prime example of a coupled social–ecological system, much of the research on such fisheries has been monothematic in orientation and focused either on fisheries ecology or human dimensions. An attempt was made to break down some of the barriers to more interdisciplinary research on recreational fisheries at the 6th World Recreational Fishing Conference. The overall conclusion was that future research and management efforts should increasingly focus on the feedbacks between the interacting human and ecological components of recreational fisheries. Doing so promises to improve understanding of how recreational fisheries respond to social–ecological change. In this context, the behaviour of both fishes and humans provides an important, yet often overlooked, integrator of the ecological and social components of recreational fisheries. A better understanding of the behavioural dynamics of recreational fishers as well as exploited fishes will help predict how recreational fisheries change, evolve, adapt and reorganise through time to maintain resilience and achieve sustainability on a global scale.
Article
To predict recreational-fishing impacts on freshwater fish species, it is important to understand the interplay between fish populations, anglers and management actions. We use an integrated bioeconomic model to study the importance of fish life-history type (LHT) for determining (i) vulnerability to over-exploitation by diverse angler types (generic, consumptive and trophy anglers), who respond dynamically to fishing-quality changes; (ii) regulations [i.e., minimum-size limits (MSLs) and licence densities] that maximize the social welfare of angler populations; and (iii) biological and social conditions resulting under such socially optimal regu-lations. We examine five prototypical freshwater species: European perch (Perca flu-viatilis), brown trout (Salmo trutta), pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), pike (Esox lucius) and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). We find that LHT is important for determining the vulnerability of fish populations to overfishing, with pike, pikeperch, and bull trout being more vulnerable than perch and brown trout. Angler type influences the magnitude of fishing impacts, because of differences in fishing practices and angler-type-specific effects of LHT on angling effort. Our results indicate that angler types are systematically attracted to particular LHTs. Socially optimal minimum-size limits generally increase with LHT vulnerability, whereas optimal licence densities are similar across LHTs. Yet, both regulations vary among angler types. Despite this variation, we find that biological sustainability occurs under socially optimal regula-tions, with one exception. Our results highlight the importance of jointly consider-ing fish diversity, angler diversity and regulations when predicting sustainable management strategies for recreational fisheries. Failure to do so could result in socially suboptimal management and/or fishery collapse.
Article
The Great Lakes watershed is home to over 40 million people (Canadian and U.S.) who depend on a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem for economic, societal, and personal vitality. The challenge to policymakers and the public is to balance economic benefits with the need to conserve and replenish regional natural resources in a manner that ensures long term prosperity. Nine critical broad-spectrum stressors of ecological services are identified, which include pollution and contamination, agricultural erosion, non-native species, degraded recreational resources, loss of wetlands habitat, climate change, risk of clean water shortage, vanishing sand dunes, and population overcrowding. Many of these stressors overlap. For example, mining activities alone can create stress in at least five of these categories. The focus groups were conducted to examine the public’s awareness of, concern with, and willingness to expend resources on these stressors. This helped generate a grouping of stressors that the public is especially concerned about, those they care little about, and everything else in between. Stressors that the respondents have direct contact with tend to be the most important to them. This approach of using focus groups is a critical first step in helping natural resource managers such as Trustees and NGOs understand what subsequent steps to take and develop policy measures that are of most interest and value to the public. Skipping or glossing over this key first task could lead to difficulties with respect to survey design and model development in a non-market valuation study. The focus group results show that concern related to pollution and contamination is much higher than for any of the others. It is thus clear that outreach programs may be necessary to educate the public about the severity of some low-ranked stressors including climate change.
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This article summarizes responses from program leaders and managers in fisheries management to a questionnaire requesting information about the use of social and community values in decision-making. More specifically, we investigated to what extent managers in the Pacific Northwest region know about and incorporate the social values of commercial fishing communities, the means by which they obtain their information, and the barriers to obtaining viable information for use in decision-making. In this pilot study, decision-makers and managers indicated that they have frequent contact with fishers and members of the coastal community, but the type of information they receive, and lack of trained personnel make it difficult to integrate the information into decision-making. Significant differences of opinion regarding the use and integration of social and community values information in decision-making also exist among our respondents. Without structural changes within management agencies that increase capacity to elicit values information from community members and standardize methods for evaluating, interpreting, and integrating the information into management plans and decisions, it is unlikely that community values information can be effectively used by managers in their planning process.
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It is increasingly clear that future long-term environmental challenges (eg climate change) are being driven by economic and cultural choices, as well as by physical and biological mechanisms. We looked at the extent to which these apply to potential future changes in fisheries in the Laurentian Great Lakes. These fisheries rank among the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world, but have declined markedly in recent decades. To investigate how these fisheries might develop in the future, we elicited projections from experts in fisheries and related fields. Experts provided assessments on variables relating to US and Canadian commercial (pounds landed) and sport (participation and expenditures) fisheries for the years 2006 and 2025. We measured each expert's ability to quantify their uncertainty, producing performance-weighted combinations of expert estimates. All experts expected commerical fisheries to decline from 2006 to 2025, with greater declines in the US (25%) than in Canada (9%). Expectations for sport fishing differed more between lakes and less between countries, with median expected declines ranging from 1% to 13%. Experts attributed expected declines primarily to changes in economic market demands and shifts in societal interests. Increased attention to social and economic trends could aid Laurentian Great Lakes fishery policy and management.
Article
Abstract Effective management of recreational fishing requires understanding fishers and their actions. These actions constitute critical links between social and ecological systems that result in outcomes that feedback and influence recreational fishers’ actions and the management of these actions. Although much research exists on recreational fishers and their actions, this research is often disconnected from management issues. One way to help to overcome this disconnect is to illustrate how past research on the social component of recreational fishing fits within an emerging coupled social-ecological system (SES) framework. Herein, a conceptual SES is first developed with specific attention to recreational fisheries. This SES is then used to illustrate the importance of considering human dimensions research for articulating, studying and ultimately managing key outcomes of recreational fisheries (e.g. fish population conservation, fisher well-being) using the example of harvest regulations and a brief review of past interdisciplinary research on recreational fishing. The article ends by identifying key research needs including understanding: how factors such as management rules affect the diversity of actions by recreational fishers; how governance and management approaches adapt to changing social and resource conditions; and how recreational fishers learn and share information.
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Research dealing with the economic values of Great Lakes fish has focused on sport and commercial exploitation (consumptive use values). In this paper, we ask what other types of monetary values might be associated with Great Lakes fishery resources and examine how these other types of values (indirect use values and intrinsic values) relate to values derived from exploitation. We estimate a total value of $12,000,000 per year to Wisconsin taxpayers for preservation of striped shiners Notropis chrysocephalus, a Wisconsin endangered species that is resident in a tributary of Lake Michigan. For comparison, we estimate a total value of $28,000,000 per year for preservation of bald eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus, also endangered in Wiconsin. In neither case was consumptive use a determinant of value. We also discuss the validity of the technique used to estimate these values. We conclude that intrinsic values for Great Lakes fish may be substantial. Future research should attempt to measure total values and not just values from exploitation.
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Conservation Ecology is designed as a place to develop and explore the novel theories, methods, research, and policies that are needed to underpin the conservation, restoration, and maintenance of the natural heritage that sustains life and human opportunity. This focus requires some research in what might be called applicable science - a mix of theory, basic research, and illuminating applied examples. It requires analysis and examples of novel ways to develop incentives such that individual self interests better reinforce social goals of conservation. And it requires experiments in novel ways to develop citizen science as an antidote to the power lobbying that now so distorts the use of information in the democratic process.
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In many areas of the world, recreational fisheries are not managed sustainably. This might be related to the omission or oversimplification of angler behaviour and angler heterogeneity in fisheries-management models. We present an integrated bioeconomic modelling approach to examine how differing assumptions about angler behaviour, angler preferences, and composition of the angler population altered predictions about optimal recreational-fisheries management, where optimal regulations were determined by maximizing aggregated angler utility. We report four main results derived for a prototypical northern pike ( Esox lucius ) fishery. First, accounting for dynamic angler behaviour changed predictions about optimal angling regulations. Second, optimal input and output regulations varied substantially among different angler types. Third, the composition of the angler population in terms of angler types was important for determining optimal regulations. Fourth, the welfare measure used to quantify aggregated utility altered the predicted optimal regulations, highlighting the importance of choosing welfare measures that closely reflect management objectives. A further key finding was that socially optimal angling regulations resulted in biological sustainability of the fish population. Managers can use the novel integrated modelling framework introduced here to account, quantitatively and transparently, for the diversity and complexity of angler behaviour when determining regulations that maximize social welfare and ensure biological sustainability.
Article
A 2007 survey found that “tourist” anglers spent $43 million in communities in New York State along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Using IMPLAN, a computerized input-output economic software package, the indirect and induced economic impacts of those expenditures was estimated. The total economic impact of recreational fishing to shoreline communities was $60 million, which was associated with approximately 1,000 jobs. A regression model was developed that explains fishing participation on Lake Ontario using biological and socioeconomic variables. It predicts a decline in fishing participation over time on Lake Ontario. This model was used to forecast future economic impacts on Lake Ontario communities estimated at a loss of $19 million in 5 years. Some suggestions were offered for altering the downward economic trend.
Article
Recreational fisheries are the dominant or sole user of many coastal and most inland fish stocks in industrialized societies. Recreational angling can negatively affect fish populations, but appropriate management approaches to address these impacts are often lacking. Overall, privately-governed European recreational fisheries systems offer suitable conditions to reconcile resource use with resource conservation because access restriction is possible, decision-making structures are simple and management scales are small. This increases the hope that the race to fish may be less pronounced than in open-access commercial fisheries. To achieve harmony between use and conservation values, a thorough understanding of the human dimension is paramount, yet approaches including this are underrepresented in contemporary recreational fisheries science and management. Based on theoretical considerations, literature review and personal experiences, this paper presents key human obstacles to the reconciliation of recreational fishery resource use and resource conservation, with emphasis on private fishing rights regimes of central Europe. Nine obstacles are identified: (1) lack of social priority; (2) lack of integrated approaches; (3) lack of cooperative institutional linkages; (4) lack of systems thinking; (5) lack of research and monitoring; (6) lack of shared values and dominance of stereotyped perceptions; (7) lack of consideration for regional fish-angler dynamics; (8) lack of objective communication of scientific findings; and (9) lack of critical self-reflection among individual anglers. Potential solutions to overcome the identified constraints briefly discussed include: (1) evaluation of the socioeconomic benefits of angling; (2) rehabilitation of ecosystem structure and function on larger scales; (3) facilitation of structured cooperation between stakeholders and management units; (4) application of complex systems approach; (5) increased funding for long-term monitoring; (6) fostering of common values of different stake-holders; (7) active adaptive management of angling effort on regional scales; (8) intensified communication of research findings; and (9) conviction of anglers to meet personal targets by more restrictive regulations. Increasing research and management efforts related to the social component of recreational fisheries will improve reconciliation of resource use and resource conservation in traditional recreational fisheries management. It is a matter of societal values whether it is judged necessary to do so on a broader scale.
Article
There is broad consensus that the main problem facing fisheries globally is too many boats chasing too few fish. Unfortunately it is also possible to argue that there are too many proposed solutions and not enough practical answers to improving fisheries management. There is a deepening divide between those who propose alternative regulatory controls on fishers, including establishing large areas permanently closed to fishing, and those who argue for better alignment of incentives combined with broad participation of resource users in fishery management decisions (in simple terms, between top down and bottom up systems of governance). However despite the choice of policy instruments used, a consistent outcome is that resource users behave in a manner that is often unintended by the designers of the management system. Hence whilst uncertainty is broadly recognized as a pervasive feature of fisheries management, to date most of the attention has focussed on only part of that uncertainty – scientific uncertainty about the status of exploited resources. The effect of uncertainty generated on the human side of fisheries science and management has received much less attention. However, the uncertainty generated by unexpected resource user behaviour is critical as it has unplanned consequences and leads to unintended management outcomes. Using empirical evidence of unexpected resource user behaviour and reviewing current responses to unexpected management outcomes, we identify different approaches that both improve prediction of human behaviour in fisheries systems and identify management measures that are more robust to these sources of uncertainty. However, unless the micro scale drivers of human behaviour that contribute to macro scale implementation uncertainty are communicated effectively to managers and considered more regularly and in greater depth, unanticipated responses to management actions will continue to undermine management systems and threaten the sustainability of fisheries.
Article
Given the biological, environmental, and regulatory changes that have occurred over the past 10 years with New York's Great Lakes fisheries, it is important to update estimates of angler effort and expenditures. Changes in angler effort and expenditures may relate to changes in fish stocks, habitat, and other more general demographic trends. Data from two mail surveys conducted in early 1997 were used to estimate angler effort and expenditures on New York's Great Lakes waters for calendar year 1996. In 1996, 37% of people who bought a fishing license in New York, or 392,270 anglers, fished at least 1 day on New York's Great Lakes waters. Approximately one-quarter (24.1%) of these anglers came from outside New York State. Anglers fished an average of 13.7 days for a total of 5.4 million days on Great Lakes waters in 1996. The most striking changes in Great Lakes fishing effort in New York over the past 20 years have occurred on Lake Ontario. Effort increased during the 1970s and 1980s and was highest in the late 1980s to early 1990s, at over 2.5 million days. Effort has dropped by one-third between 1988 and 1996. Lake Erie did not experience the increase in fishing effort seen on Lake Ontario in the early 1980s, but did experience a similar decrease in effort between 1988 and 1996. Despite changes in fishing regulations to remove snagging on the Salmon River, angler effort was basically unchanged between 1988 and 1996. Fishing effort along the St. Lawrence River was relatively constant between 1973 and 1988, but increased by almost 30% between 1988 and 1996. Possible explanations for changes in fishing participation using both biological and sociological data are discussed.
Article
It is often said that managing fisheries is managing people. This truism implies that fisheries science inherently involves disciplines that focus on fish and their population dynamics, humans and their behaviour, and policy and decision making. This is particularly true for recreational fisheries, where the human behavioural motivation and human response to management actions may be more difficult to predict than in commercial fisheries. We provide a synthesis of the multi-disciplinary literature on modelling recreational angler behaviour to inform management of recreational fisheries. We begin by defining the recreational fisheries system in an interdisciplinary manner. We then assess the literature for empirical evidence of disciplinary crossover. Using bibliometric data, we provide evidence that there is little disciplinary crossover, particularly between fisheries biology, including applied ecology, and quantitative social science, including economics. We identify critical barriers to disciplinary crossover, such as database indexing issues and nomenclature. Next, we provide a review of critical contributions to the literature, and locate these contributions within our interdisciplinary conceptualization of the recreational fisheries system. This synthesis is intended to be a cross-disciplinary bridge to facilitate access to the broader literature on modelling angler behaviour, with the ultimate goal of improving recreational fisheries management.
Article
Limnology has greatly influenced the field of freshwater fisheries science, particularly fisheries biology. However, both fields became increasingly disconnected during the 20th century, when major research traditions within limnology became more tightly focused and humans, even fish, were externalized. A paradigm shift occurring within freshwater fisheries science today is redefining research questions and approaches and is further challenging the role of limnology within fisheries science. Modern fisheries science has become a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and sometimes transdisciplinary endeavour that melds the social with the natural sciences to understand fisheries as social-ecological systems. Limnology remains important to capture some of the dynamics inherent in social-ecological fisheries systems, but becomes one of the many necessary scientific disciplines of fisheries science, rather than the primary supporting science that it used to be. To improve scholarly communication between limnologists and freshwater fisheries scientists, major shifts in perspective are needed.It is hardly understandable why fish are only regarded as a component of the aquatic ecosystem or a means for biomanipulation in modern textbooks on limnology or limno-ecology, while the fisheries science as a natural component of theoretical and applied limnology in the spirit of Thienemann is not mentioned in the table of contents!H.-J. Elster, 1993 (translated from German) (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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Fisheries are complex human-in-nature systems. The conventional approach to fisheries systems has been to treat them as predictable and controllable. As complex systems they are neither of the two and have to be approached differently. Complex systems often exhibit the capacity to self-organize or adapt, even without outside influence. If this is true of fisheries, it should lead to a radically different approach to management of fisheries systems that places much emphasis on enabling self-organization, learning and adaptation. Conceptual and practical frameworks for enabling activities are needed.
Article
Despite evidence of a broadening of the science base for European fisheries policy with the incorporation of an ecosystem approach and increasing use of economic modelling, the contribution of the social sciences to policy related research remains less conspicuous. Progress has occurred in the understanding of institutional structures and the theory of fisheries governance, but analysis of EU funded research in the 6th Framework Programme (2002–2006) points to the absence of social science except in multi-disciplinary projects. The diasporic nature of fisheries social science and the absence of clearly articulated social objectives from fisheries policy are among the more plausible explanations for this unconformity. Prospects for reform of the CFP in 2012—including a redistribution of responsibilities between central and regional institutions—offer enhanced opportunities for the social sciences in interdisciplinary and specialist areas of policy related research. Responding to the challenge will necessitate the building of stronger networks within the family of social sciences and across disciplinary boundaries with the natural and economic sciences.
Article
Tools of benefit-cost analysis are used to evaluate a project to rehabilitate the yellow perch fishery of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Both sport and commercial fishers harvest from this stock, which has been suffering from much reduced productivity since the early 1960s. The project is composed of commercial quotas and other regulations. Measures of benefits and costs were used that explicitly incorporate uncertainty about the potential level of success of the project. The analysis shows that commercial fish producers will more or less break even compared to where they would have been without the project, but that substantial recreational benefits can be expected. This case study illustrates how benefit-cost analysis can provide useful insights into the potential economic returns from rehabilitation projects. It also dramatizes unresolved research issues, particularly in the area of sport fishing valuation.
Article
The fishing industry is undergoing major restructuring driven by fisheries management and policy responses to ecological problems in key stocks. Many commentators and policy makers refer to a “crisis” in fisheries, with a number of commercial species in serious decline and the livelihoods of fishers, especially those in smaller fishing communities, seriously threatened. This paper suggests that while much is known about the ecological and economic aspects of fisheries, the social and cultural impacts of fisheries and their management has been under-researched and is often overlooked in policy. The paper is composed of three sections: firstly, a review of European fisheries policy is presented, highlighting the lack of social objectives; secondly, a review of recent social science literature that addresses social and cultural aspects of fisheries management. Finally, as a result of this review, a number of gaps in the research agenda are identified and potential areas for future work are suggested in order to inform and influence the development of a sustainable fisheries policy. Such work is especially relevant and timely given the current review of the European Common Fisheries Policy, due to be completed by 1st January 2013.
Article
Throughout most of the developed world, social objectives play a very subdued role in shaping fisheries policy. Despite the persistence of social issues, including access to fishing rights, renewal of the industry’s social capital and the sustainability of fishing communities, the attitude of policy makers is equivocal. Though prepared to acknowledge the relevance of such concerns, they are strangely unwilling to incorporate explicit social objectives into the design of fisheries policy. The paper explores the changing nature of social issues, involving a shift in political attention from the needs of the individual to broader community and societal concerns. And, in the context of the complex multi-level governance frameworks for European and UK fisheries management, it seeks explanations for the reluctance to commit to social objectives.
Article
Multidisciplinary research is essential for addressing many of the newly arising issues in natural resource management. However, what multidisciplinary research means and how it can be put into practice is not always clear. This paper discusses definitions and concepts of multidisciplinary research and its relevance for natural resource management, and it explains why disciplines need to be integrated in multidisciplinary research programs and to what extent they can be integrated. It suggests ways of analyzing the complexity of multidisciplinary research programs and refers to some of the tools (including systems theory) that can be used to facilitate integration. The paper considers ways of improving participation and management of multidisciplinary teams, and draws conclusions on the role and potential of multidisciplinary research.
Article
Despite its necessity, integration of natural and social sciences to inform conservation efforts has been difficult. We examined the views of 63 scientists and practitioners involved in marine management in Mexico's Gulf of California, the central California coast, and the western Pacific on the challenges associated with integrating social science into research efforts that support ecosystem-based management (EBM) in marine systems. We used a semistructured interview format. Questions focused on how EBM was developed for these sites and how contextual factors affected its development and outcomes. Many of the traditional challenges linked with interdisciplinary research were present in the EBM projects we studied. However, a number of contextual elements affected how mandates to include social science were interpreted and implemented as well as how easily challenges could be addressed. For example, a common challenge is that conservation organizations are often dominated by natural scientists, but for some projects it was easier to address this imbalance than for others. We also found that the management and institutional histories that came before EBM in specific cases were important features of local context. Because challenges differed among cases, we believe resolving challenges to interdisciplinary research should be context specific.
Article
Decision-making in environmental projects requires consideration of trade-offs between socio-political, environmental, and economic impacts and is often complicated by various stakeholder views. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) emerged as a formal methodology to face available technical information and stakeholder values to support decisions in many fields and can be especially valuable in environmental decision making. This study reviews environmental applications of MCDA. Over 300 papers published between 2000 and 2009 reporting MCDA applications in the environmental field were identified through a series of queries in the Web of Science database. The papers were classified by their environmental application area, decision or intervention type. In addition, the papers were also classified by the MCDA methods used in the analysis (analytic hierarchy process, multi-attribute utility theory, and outranking). The results suggest that there is a significant growth in environmental applications of MCDA over the last decade across all environmental application areas. Multiple MCDA tools have been successfully used for environmental applications. Even though the use of the specific methods and tools varies in different application areas and geographic regions, our review of a few papers where several methods were used in parallel with the same problem indicates that recommended course of action does not vary significantly with the method applied.
Article
The poor management of natural resources has led in many cases to the decline and extirpation of populations. Recent advances in fisheries science could revolutionize management of harvested stocks by evaluating management scenarios in a virtual world by including stakeholders and by assessing its robustness to uncertainty. These advances have been synthesized into a framework, management strategy evaluation (MSE), which has hitherto not been used in terrestrial conservation. We review the potential of MSE to transform terrestrial conservation, emphasizing that the behavior of individual harvesters must be included because harvester compliance with management rules has been a major challenge in conservation. Incorporating resource user decision-making required to make MSEs relevant to terrestrial conservation will also advance fisheries science.