Globally, billions of people rely on small-scale fisheries for their livelihoods and as a source of food. Yet, despite the important role that these fisheries play, they are currently unable to sufficiently contribute to food security and livelihood quality. This underperformance may be resolved by improving fisheries governance, resolving gaps in science-informed management practices, and directly engaging fishing communities. However, social networks among the fishers themselves can also have downstream ecological impacts. And, a recent study shows that rival fishers that maintain cooperative alliances with one another generally catch high-quality fish in greater quantities.
“The face-to-face contact they share helps them build ‘prosocial norms’, things like trust and shared visions and conflict resolution,” says Eliza Oldach, a PhD student at University of California, Davis, studying coastal community adaptation who was not involved in this work, “That’s a pattern we see in other fisheries, and cooperative situations of all sorts– face time and communication create an incentive to cooperate and a disincentive to cheat (though other factors are important too!).”
The researchers found that fish abundance and quality were greater in areas where it was common practice for competing fishers to share information about community fishing norms, gear use, and fishing locations. Ultimately, this research shows that actively discussing and addressing concerns related to the fishing environment improves fishers’ catches overall.
“In places where social-ecological network closure isn’t happening– in other words, where fishers using the same resource aren’t in communication … building communicative ties between these fishers, [the authors] argue, can help promote those pro-social, cooperative, ecosystem-supporting behaviors,” says Oldach.
For this research, led by Dr. Michele Barnes, a Senior Social Science Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (James Cook University) in Australia, the scientists gathered data from five coral reef fishing communities in Kenya. They combined interviews with 648 fishers, visual censuses of coral reef condition, and fisheries landings data to understand how the reefs’ ecological condition was linked with the social network that exists among fishers.
“Communication between people that use the same resource can build communities with shared values and rules for managing use of the fishery they share,” says Oldach, “And, according to this paper, you see the outcome in the status of the reef.”
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Worldwide, billions of individuals count on small fisheries for their incomes and as a source of food. Yet, regardless of the essential function that these fisheries play, they are presently not able to adequately add to food security and income quality. This underperformance might be solved by enhancing fisheries governance, solving spaces in science-informed management practices, and straight appealing fishing neighborhoods. Nevertheless, socials media amongst the fishers themselves can likewise have downstream eco-friendly effects. And, a current research study reveals that competing fishers that keep cooperative alliances with one another normally capture premium fish in higher amounts.
” The in person contact they share assists them develop ‘prosocial standards’, things like trust and shared visions and dispute resolution,” states Eliza Oldach, a PhD trainee at University of California, Davis, studying seaside neighborhood adjustment who was not associated with this work, “That’s a pattern we see in other fisheries, and cooperative scenarios of all sorts– face time and interaction develop a reward to work together and a disincentive to cheat (though other elements are necessary too!).”
The scientists discovered that fish abundance and quality were higher in locations where it prevailed practice for contending fishers to share info about neighborhood fishing standards, equipment usage, and fishing places. Eventually, this research study reveals that actively going over and resolving issues connected to the fishing environment enhances fishers’ catches in general.