Using cognitive maps to investigate fishers' ecosystem objectives and knowledge

This paper presents a survey of French Eastern English Channel fishers' observations of the past and current state of the marine ecosystem and their wishes for the future, as a first step towards formulating management objectives. Twenty-nine semi-directive interviews were carried out in June 2006 among fishers and shellfish farmers. Cognitive maps proved useful to formalise their experience and knowledge. Most interviewees mentioned a decrease of the resource in recent years and pointed out the presence of several problems, such as pollution, degradation of the ocean floor and harmful impacts of human activities, including fishing. The indicators used by the fishers as the basis to form their opinion were similar to those generally used by scientists for assessing the state of exploited marine populations and communities (average fish length, CPUE, fished biomass...); additional indicators were the timing and duration of fishing seasons. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Eastern English Channel, Management objectives, Stakeholder interview, Cognitive map, Ecosystem approach to fisheries, Fisher knowledge

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Prigent Magali, Fontenelle Guy, Rochet Marie-Joelle, Trenkel Verena (2008). Using cognitive maps to investigate fishers' ecosystem objectives and knowledge. Ocean & Coastal Management. 51 (6). 450-462.,

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