Looking beyond the fisheries crisis: Cumulative learning from small-scale fisheries through diagnostic approaches

Journal Article

The common scientific and media narrative in fisheries is one of failure: poor governance, collapsed stocks, and vanishing livelihoods. Yet, there are successful fisheries - instances where governments and/or communities have maintained or rebuilt stocks, where fishers have robust livelihoods, and where institutions are strong. Scientists and managers alike are becoming increasingly interested in moving beyond the doom-and-gloom stories of fisheries failures toward cumulative knowledge for making fisheries governance more successful. Recent literature has attempted to determine what separates the successes from the failures and better understand how lessons learned for effective fisheries governance can be cumulatively compiled. In this special issue, we present a range of fisheries studies from around the world - Latin America, The Pacific, and East Africa. The studies look at varying fisheries outcomes, including sustainability, cooperation, self-governance, and sustaining livelihoods. The contributions in this special issue all tackle the challenge of exploring, testing, and refining the Diagnostic Framework for Analyzing Social-Ecological Systems developed by Elinor Ostrom as a way to cumulate knowledge on the potential conditions that could be causing a problem or creating a benefit in the governance of small-scale marine fisheries. These articles successfully explore the applicability and contributions of the framework while providing important theoretical refinements for small-scale fisheries. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cinner, JE; MacNeil, MA; Basurto, X; Gelcich, S

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1359 - 1365

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-3780

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.11.001