Publication Detail

Assessing Stakeholder Perspectives on the Impacts of a Decade of Collaborative Fisheries Research in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank

Rachel G Feeney, Kenneth J La Valley, Madeleine Hall-Arber
14 pp.
MITSG 10-12
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

Analysis of the perceptions of commercial fishermen, marine scientists, and other stakeholders of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank ecosystem regarding collaborative fisheries research revealed that the benefits of collaboration have been extensive and that a loss of further research opportunities would be consequential. To date, more than 1,000 individuals have participated in research initiatives dedicated to promoting collaboration between scientists and fishermen. A series of eight public meetings were held in the summer of 2008 to determine from fishermen, scientists, and others how this collaboration has affected them, their communities, and the management of important marine resources. Of the 142 attendees, participation
was greatest among fishermen (28%) and scientists (24%). The impact of collaborative fisheries research most frequently cited was an increase in the regional capacity to conduct research, utilizing the knowledge and
expertise of fishermen and industry vessels as research platforms. Improvements in communication, relationships, and trust between science, industry, and other stakeholders were also lauded. In addition to the social impacts, the economic benefits included enhanced gear efficiency, new fishery opportunities, and help in sustaining fishing operations in times of more restrictive fisheries management. The most frequently cited potential impact of a loss in future funding were probable limits to the capacity of science and management to address local, emerging, or regulatory priorities. Less funding would result in fewer opportunities for
stakeholders to work together, build trust, and network. We conclude that because the demands for stakeholder engagement and scientific information will only increase with the global shift toward ecosystembased
management, programs specifically designed to foster collaboration will play a critical role.

type: Journal, book, proceeding reprints

Parent Project

Project No.: 2008-A/A-3
Title: Center for Marine Social Sciences (CMSS)