Transdisciplinary co-operation for an ecosystem approach to fisheries: A case study from the South African sardine fishery

Publication Year:

Integrative approaches that involve natural and social scientists are needed to manage fisheries, but these are difficult to achieve. The process of developing a prototype, knowledge-based, electronic decision support tool for the South African sardine Sardinops sagax fishery provided a platform for fostering collaboration and achieving active participation of many stakeholders. The aim of the decision support tool is to assist managers in evaluating how effectively an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) has been implemented for this fishery. The collaborative process involved a series of meetings during which knowledge was elicited from fisheries scientists, social scientists, resource managers and fishing industry representatives. Conceptualisations of the different stakeholder perspectives were developed in terms of objectives and indicators following the hierarchical tree approach recommended by FAO. This paper describes the collaborative process. Hierarchies of objectives, indicators and data sets for the human dimension of an EAF in the South African sardine fishery are introduced. The value of a transdisciplinary approach towards an EAF in South Africa is discussed. Keywords: Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF), Socio-economic indicators, Decision support tool, Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), Human dimension of fisheries, Social-ecological systems.

Publication Title:

Marine Policy

Item Type:
Journal Article

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