Marine Social Sciences

Lead Pi: Chrys Chryssostomidis · 02/2010 - 01/2014

Project Personnel: Madeleine Hall-Arber

Project number: 2010-A/A-3

Objectives:(1) Build an outreach agenda that addresses the human dimensions data gaps that constrain effective natural resource management locally, regionally and nationally.ï Foster collaborative research with stakeholders in fishing and coastal communities that seeks a balance among social, economic and ecological concerns.ï Provide decision-makers and other stakeholders with the results of multidisciplinary, regional and bicoastal research that focuses on alternative management techniques through appropriate outreach efforts.(2) Collaborate with regional Sea Grant programs, Massachusettsí Coastal Zone Management program and Urban Harbors Institute to provide coastal communities decision-makers with options for marine spatial planning and waterfront use.(3) Promote marine safety through collaboration with commercial fishing organizations, fishing communities, the U.S. Coast Guard, and recreational users of the water.ï Facilitate basic fishing vessel safety training in various ports in Massachusetts and Rhode Island (4) Collaborate with commercial fishing interests and community organizations to develop programs in support of sustainable seafood and coastal communities.(5) Collaborate with commercial fisheries management agencies and regional Sea Grant programs to identify critical issues that demand early response and plan programming accordingly.Methodology:1. Liaison: Serves on a variety of boards and advisory panels to provide them with social science expertise, information about Sea Grant, and applicable research conducted at MIT. 2. Outreach: Presentations, publications (writing and editing), and information technologies are used to reach a broad audience to disseminate research findings and to advance knowledge about the complexity of marine-related and fisheries policy issues. Additional outreach includes active participation in selected groups with the objective of helping them build their organizational capacity. Cooperative work continues with other Sea Grant programs in the region on educational outreach projects. CMSS also provides information and contacts to students, job-seekers and writers (journalists and others) upon request.3. Research: Conducts research on the social science aspects of commercial fisheries and fishing-dependent communities to provide data that may be incorporated into the fisheries management process and our outreach programming.Rationale:The use of social science methodology and research results leads to problem resolution and improved policy development. The importance of such a focus in fisheries management has been recognized in legislation and is underscored by judicial decisions. We have been recruited to serve on a number of advisory panels specifically to address social and cultural issues facing managers. The research conducted provides fodder for knowledgeable outreach and effective liaison. Ultimately, social science expertise and practical assistance to communities and industries will help develop appropriate uses of our marine and coastal resources while preserving cultural and ecological values.