Wednesday, June 26 • 16:45 - 18:15
Let's draw on our practices. (Interactive brainstorming session)

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Chaired by: Neilsson, A.L. & Sao Marcos, R.

Let's Draw on Our Practices: Interactive brainstorming session
Alison Laurie Neilson and Rita São Marcos
University of Coimbra

This panel will engage with images that underlie fisheries and the way these are manifest within policy, institutional structures, day-to-day activities of advisory councils, fisheries associations and other relevant actors. It will also reflect on how these are created and enacted by the limited positivistic way of knowing fisheries and oceans. The presentations will serve as catalysts for a brainstorming activity in which we seek to create alternative visual images that are able to more effectively communicate complex, political, ambiguous and difficult ideas, which are often excluded from policy and public discourse.

Poster presentation:
Alison Laurie Neilson, Rita São Marcos 

Literally and figuratively, we draw from the fields of education, sociology, political ecology, anthropology, and other critical social sciences to invite participants at MARE People & the Sea X: learning from the past, imagining the future, to collaborate with us to learn how to create more powerful images of multiparadigmatic ways to know the ocean, fish and fisheries. Part of this poster will juxtapose strong visual arguments used within positivistic natural sciences to promote the importance of this type of knowledge with the fewer and generally weaker attempts to communicate social science knowledge related to fisheries and oceans. The remaining portion of the poster will present examples of visual communications that have been developed outside of fisheries research, but which offer useful starting points for developing specific images which could help frame, know and dream coasts, oceans and the social-ecosystems which our collective research could better serve. It uncovers the ways that the fields of science communication and apolitical environmental and outdoor education create powerful lessons which continuously empower already too limited ways of knowing thereby also giving more power to increasingly effective exclusion of diverse and critical social sciences as well as fisher’s knowledges. This poster will be used to facilitate discussion and creative engagement with the diverse research practices, paradigms and fisheries communities present within the panel speakers and audience.

Alison Laurie Neilson

Research with Azorean fishing communities dealing with declining fish populations, fleet reductions, and reduced fish quota uncovers the economic and political realities of small-scale fisheries and the stratification of wet worldviews which threatens the human-wild fish relationship. Small-scale and artisanal fishing is understood via myths and stereotypes which limit what we learn about ocean systems, how we do research and the way we govern fisheries. Scientists give advice for the survival of fish species, but assumptions about history and human behaviour limit the approach to management. Taken for granted ideas reinforce the “normal” idea of artisanal fishers as poor and helpless, and that the future of the oceans and wild fish is hopeless. The prevailing political direction for our shared oceans is toward economic growth of industrial activities. Wild fish and small-scale fishing are not priorities. Local interests are pushed aside by the pursuit of profit while fish stocks continue to disappear. This presentation will highlight a project which aims to tell stories which frame fishers in a better light, as important participants and leaders for creating and maintaining sustainable and just relationships with all ocean life. The photo stories and narratives from this project ask us to look to the sea through new eyes, hear with new ears, and awaken to the possibility of knowing the sea in unfamiliar ways. It provides an opportunity to reflect on our own intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual understandings by exploring the perspectives of people who have been born and raised in the sea.

Rita São Marcos

Participatory governance is an increasing norm in European Fisheries, however policy making strategies have been driven by bio-economic models that ascribe top priority to the biological and economic research domains. Governance structures fall short on moving from inclusive narratives and discourses to effective and genuinely participatory practices and a continuing tension exists, and has remained unchanged for the last four decades, between participatory democracy and expert authority. The UN has stressed the role of small-scale fisheries as catalysts for sustainable development and reported the need for a shift in the way decision making bodies operate through a clear legislative framework for full participation of community organizations as stewards in marine resource management. This paper aims to reflect on the role fishing communities play in fisheries policy making. Building from a sociological perspective and an ethnographic approach to the agency and political participation of Azorean small-scale fisher’s associations in advisory councils (at the regional and European level) it will explore the existing tensions between the power of science and scientific advice and the influence of fishers’ knowledges and perspectives. (1) How do regional and EU fisheries systems, and specifically stakeholder advisory councils, provide arenas for a transformative and emancipatory potential of fishers’ agency towards change? (2) How are fishers, civil society actors, policy makers/managers and scientists involved in multi-actors contexts and processes of decision making? (3) What perspectives and representations do they have on fishing issues and the way they should be managed? Which underlying understandings, images and assumptions have been directing the policy and research agenda?

Regional Fisheries Management Organizations and developing best practice
Bianca Haas, Marcus Haward, Jeffrey McGee & Aysha Fleming

Regional Fisheries Management Organizations are key bodies responsible for managing fisheries on the high seas and in areas under national jurisdiction and are essential to achieve  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, ‘Life below water’  SDG Goal 14 addresses the sustainable use and conservation of the oceans and marine resources and is highly linked to other goals, such as poverty reduction (SDG 1) or zero hunger (SDG 2). While millions of people rely on oceans and marine resources for food, income, and well-being, concerns over overfishing (fishing above sustainable levels) have, however, led to criticism of the performance of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. Performance Reviews provide one possibility to assess and improve the functioning of the organizations, discuss and assess current management approaches, and increase awareness of important issues such as climate change. These assessments emphasize best practices among fisheries management organizations, foster cooperation among them, and have considerable potential to positively influence management processes.  Performance assessments can be an important tool to improve not only the performance of the fisheries sector but can also play a relevant role in enhancing ocean governance in terms of the aspirations established by SDG14.

avatar for Alison Neilson

Alison Neilson

Researcher, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra
Researcher and educator who works with fishing communities in the Azores Islands, PortugalI'm a Portuguese /Canadian researcher who works on environmental justice issues in fishing communities of the Azores Islands, Portugal. I conduct narrative and arts-informed research on the way... Read More →

Wednesday June 26, 2019 16:45 - 18:15
REC A2.08 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam