Fishing industry stakeholders have unique and important contributions to make to fisheries research finds a new Marine Institute paper
Fishing industry stakeholders have unique and important contributions to make to fisheries research, says the authors of a new research paper entitled ‘Reflecting on the importance of open communication and social capital for the co-creation of knowledge in Irish fisheries’.
The article composed from research by Julia Calderwood, Debbi Pedreschi, Macdara Ó Cuaig and David G Redi of the Irish Marine Institute, finds that co-operative and collaborative research approaches between science and industry are important to facilitate the documentation of fishermen’s knowledge and the co-creation of common understandings.
The marine scientist found that whilst fisheries science is important, the knowledge fishermen have included ecological and socio-economic data, along with gear technology and the development of various fisheries management schemes can help address complex management requirements.
“Collaboration, co-operative research and the co-creation of knowledge between science and industry are important in facilitating the documentation of fishers’ knowledge and subsequently including FEK in science, research and advice. There is a spectrum upon which fishers can be involved in scientific research and as to how FEK is subsequently used,” says the article.
“Successful collaborations require open communication, trust and social capital, but numerous barriers exist to establishing these effective partnerships, claims the article. This paper takes a narrative approach to reflect on the authors’ experiences of engaging and collaborating with the Irish industry in the quest for the co-creation of knowledge, while considering how data from industry can best be used and integrated into scientific processes.
“This includes reflecting on barriers faced, in addition to motives and opportunities that have enabled this work to progress. Through case study examples, we reflect on issues surrounding misunderstandings regarding the roles of scientists and the scientific process, a lack of transparency, a lack of trust, historical/legacy issues, and contemporary pressures including the COVID-19 pandemic and impacts of Brexit. Building trust and active communication are identified as key elements to effectively co-create knowledge and common understanding. Trust is often developed in an informal setting, but more formalized processes, increased transparency and opportunities to engage, and institutional supports may further facilitate effective knowledge co-creation in fisheries.”