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Tuesday, June 25 • 16:45 - 18:15
Marine science perspectives

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Chaired by: Hornidge, A.K.

Changing up social sciences research in light of populist political influences on marine and coastal management outcomes: cases from Australia
Kate Brooks, Kate Barclay & Quentin Grafton

In the sphere of marine and coastal management in Australia, policy and decision-making processes based on principles of ecological sustainability and stakeholder consultation are frequently ‘side-swiped’ by interventions from politicians for electoral reasons. In Australia special interest groups for biodiversity conservation on the one hand and recreational fishing on the other have in several cases captured the attention of key politicians, meaning that resource management decisions based on principles of ecologically sustainable development have been overturned, such that professional fishing has been excluded from large areas of the coast.

Powerful special interest groups and populist politics have negatively impacted the effectiveness of current interdisciplinary research approaches. We argue that the social sciences could address this problem by explicitly including politics as part of the system to be understood and governed in natural resource management. The political pressure placed on governance processes and decision making is rarely considered in interdisciplinary approaches to coastal management. Populist politics, wherein ‘experts’ are mistrusted in favour of the experiential wisdom of the everyday person, is playing a role in that research evidence and robust policy processes have become less important in legitimising resource allocation decisions. A related issue is that the research supporting resource management – both social and bio-physical – has been poorly communicated to the general public. We explore this with reference to case studies from the east coast of Australia, where inadequate appreciation of the political climate has contributed to disengagement and disenfranchisement of stakeholders (community and political) from governance process.

We suggest that opportunities exist for the social sciences to contribute more effectively to marine and coastal governance through directly addressing power and politics in participatory processes and adjusting research construction and communication to deliver more frequent, small bite, updates on research outputs.

Fishing Styles in the Dutch demersal fleet: Understanding fisher behaviour through improved classification
Amanda Schadeberg, Marloes Kraan, Katell Hamon

The focus of much fisheries management policy and research in the EU has been on the resource (the fish) rather than the resource user (the fisher). However, there are significant changes coming to the fishery, many of which are social or political in nature, that will affect the fishers far more than the fish. These include the construction of offshore windmill parks, technological innovations in gear and processing, Brexit, and the introduction of the discard ban. The impact of these changes on fishers in the Netherlands depends on many factors, such as the status and security of their business, their attachment to certain areas of the sea, and their flexibility in fishing techniques. There is thus a need to understand the behaviour of fishers beyond simple models of profit-seeking and regulation compliance in order to predict, manage, or overcome the challenges that lie ahead with minimal negative social impact. This paper employs the fishing styles method to present quantitative analysis of the various fishing practices in the Dutch fleet and how their use has changed over time. This analysis is complemented by insights from more than 25 in-depth interviews with Dutch fishers, which reveal their motivations, concerns, and priorities as they go about their daily lives at sea. The results of this paper can be useful to monitor trends in the fleet and their consequences, to explain and improve non-compliance behaviour, and to evaluate the impact of policy interventions in social terms.


Kate Brooks

Director, KAL Analysis Pty Ltd

Amanda Schadeberg

Wageningen University and Research

Tuesday June 25, 2019 16:45 - 18:15 CEST
REC A2.08 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam