Promote knowledge exchange between fishers to improve good practice
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Fishers commonly share information through social relationships, and this may lead to increased fishing success (Turner et al. 2014). However, knowledge exchange between fishers could also be used as a tool to help promote sustainable practices, particularly if the central fishers in information-sharing networks can be identified and co-opted to assist managers in the spreading of conservation information (Mbaru & Barnes 2017).
Mbaru E.K. & Barnes M.L. (2017) Key players in conservation diffusion: Using social network analysis to identify critical injection points. Biological Conservation, 210, 222–232.
Turner R.A., Polunin N.V.C. & Stead S.M. (2014) Social networks and fishers' behavior: Exploring the links between information flow and fishing success in the Northumberland lobster fishery. Ecology and Society, 19, 38.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 2005–2007 in pelagic waters north of Hawaii, USA (Howell et al. 2008) found that a tool (‘TurtleWatch’) created to facilitate knowledge exchange and the avoidance of loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta interactions with a swordfish Xiphias gladius shallow-set longline fishery, did not reduce turtle catch, and fishers did not spend less time fishing in areas recommended for avoidance by the tool. Results were not statistically tested. After the tool was deployed, 0–0.03 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks (12 total turtles) were caught compared to 0.01–0.04 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks (17 total turtles) in the previous year and 0–0.05 turtles/1000 hooks (9 total turtles) two years earlier. Fishers did not remain south of the fishing boundary line recommended by the tool, instead the whole fishery moved further north than previously and remained north for a longer time than in the two preceding years (see paper for details). ‘TurtleWatch’ combined historical fishing, environmental and turtle behavioural data to recommend areas to avoid fishing. In January–March 2007, information from the tool was disseminated daily in electronic and paper format to industry professionals and fishers. The fishery also had a legal catch limit of 17 turtles/year, after which fishery closures were imposed. In January–March 2005–2007, line deployments (2005: 520 deployments; 2006: 842; 2007: 797), number of hooks put out (2005: 429,580 hooks; 2006: 670,914; 2007: 689,486), and loggerhead turtle interactions were monitored.Study and other actions tested