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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

S2: Critical Approaches to Improving the Role of Social Science and Measuring the Impacts of Fisheries

Session Chairs: Kate Barclay, University of Technology Sydney; Gil Sylvia, Oregon State University;

10:30 – 10:48  |  3578422

Fishery socioeconomic outcomes tool: Groundtruthing a rapid assessment tool for evaluating socioeconomic performance of fisheries management

Sarah Smith1; Merrick J. Burden2; Alexis N. Rife3;
1Environmental Defense Fund, Boston, MA, United States; 2Environmental Defense Fund, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Environmental Defense Fund, Portland, OR, USA;

As linked social-ecological systems, evaluating the socioeconomic outcomes of fisheries management, and how these outcomes change with a management intervention, is essential to understanding fishery performance. While a number of tools have been developed in recent years to evaluate social and economic outcomes of fisheries, many require extensive data collection, making them difficult to implement on a large scale, while others rely on existing data, limiting their applicability to data-limited fisheries. Additionally, socioeconomic objectives of fisheries are likely to differ substantially between fisheries of different scales operating in different geographic and socio-cultural contexts, making the development of universal indicators and comparing results between fisheries challenging. This talk will describe a novel tool for evaluating and tracking fishery management socioeconomic outcomes by linking outcomes directly to management objectives. Indicators of these outcomes are scored by key informants and weighted according to the importance of particular fishery management objectives, resulting in standardized scores of fishery management outcomes. The resulting scores can be compared between fisheries and tracked over time. This tool was tested in two disparate fisheries the U.S. Pacific Coast groundfish trawl fishery and the Altata Lagoon multispecies fishery in Sinaloa, Mexico. Results of testing demonstrate that the outcomes generated similar scores, although the primary objectives of each were very different, permitting comparison of the performance of the two fisheries. Additionally, the survey results for the Pacific Coast groundfish trawl fishery were groundtruthed by comparing them with existing data on fishery performance to check for reliability of survey scores. This comparison found the Fishery Socioeconomic Outcomes Tool generally yielded fairly accurate results across various indicators, supporting the utility of this tool for rapidly assessing and tracking the performance of a fishery in the absence of quantitative data.

10:48 – 11:06  |  3580920

Evaluating the social and economic contributions of fisheries and aquaculture using a wellbeing approach

Kate Barclay1; Michelle Voyer2; Alistair McIlgorm2; Nicole Mazur3;
1University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, Australia; 2ANCORS University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia; 3ENVision Consulting, ACT, Australia;

Fisheries legislation in many parts of the world stipulates that fisheries should be managed for the benefit of society. Yet vary rarely do governments evaluate the social and economic benefits of fisheries or aquaculture. Sometimes it is assumed that if fisheries are generating revenue and jobs in a region this is to the benefit of society, or that maximizing profitability in fishing fleets is of benefit to society. Neither of these approaches, however, go far enough in grasping what kinds of benefits are brought by different kinds of fisheries to different groups within society. In this paper I canvass an approach colleagues and I have used in several projects to evaluate the social and economic contributions fisheries and aquaculture make to communities using the umbrella of social wellbeing. We start by asking what are the key domains of wellbeing to which fisheries and aquaculture contribute such as the local economy, environmental health, and cultural heritage. We then further explore the contributions to wellbeing within these domains through quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews and economic analysis. This approach has the potential to generate the baseline and time series data that could feed into more comprehensive social, ecological and economic analyses of the best use of natural resources for the benefit of society.

11:06 – 11:24  |  3612170

Integrating economics into ICES science and advice: A survey of existing work and future needs

Olivier Thebaud1; Hazel Curtis2; Bertrand Le Gallic3; Leyre Goti4; Arina Motova2; J. Rasmus Nielsen5;
1Ifremer, UMR AMURE, Plouzane, France; 2Seafish, Edinburgh, UK; 3UBO, UMR AMURE, Brest, France; 4Thuenen Institute, Hamburg, Germany; 5DTU AQUA, Copenhagen, Denmark;

Although the demand for marine science and advice to address economic considerations is increasing globally, to date, organisations such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) have not engaged many economists, nor integrated economic issues in their core activities. The Working Group on Economics of ICES was established in 2018 to address the need to better incorporate fisheries economics into ICES science and advice. Its tasks include mapping current work and identifying future needs, connecting with related international organizations, reporting on information needed for trade-off analysis of fishing impacts and ecosystem services, and measuring the economic value of fishing.

The working group recently initiated a survey of existing work and future needs for economic science in ICES. This talk will present the survey, and preliminary results obtained from running this by the members of the European Association of Fisheries Economists. Participants at the NAAFE conference will also be encouraged to contribute to this mapping exercise.

11:24 – 11:42  |  3667757

A skeptic's guide to expanding the role of economics and social science in fishery management

Gil Syliva1; George Kailis2; Micahel Harte3;
1Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA; 2The University of Notre Dame, Australia; 3College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA;

Economics and other social sciences are critical disciplines for analyzing fisheries management, assessing the social, economic and cultural impacts of change, and for evaluating performance of fisheries management against economic and social goals. It is often, however, difficult to discern the role of economics and the social sciences in operational fisheries management activities and policy settings. Are these disciplines only relevant in a fishery crisis or as high level strategic influencers on management goals and policy, or can they play a more practical and immediate role in fisheries management?

We propose that the very nature of fisheries management and policy with interacting interests of fishers, fisheries managers, researchers, policy makers, and politicians contributes to social science research being either perceived as irrelevant or as a disruptive influence on fisheries management. Drawing on extensive experience in industry, management, economics and social science research, the many and often contradictory interests of those engaged in management and policy development are explored. We are especially interested in disconnects between high level strategic economic and social fisheries management objectives and the actual application of economic and social data and advice in operational fisheries management. We outline potential actions to reconnect the economic and social sciences to operational fisheries management and bolster links between social and economic research and fisheries management.

11:42 – 12:00


Group discussion will follow oral presentations.


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