Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland


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Call for papers on “Co-creating Knowledge with Fishers: Integrating Fishers’ Knowledge Contributions into Marine Science” for Research Topic issue in Frontiers in Marine Science

Abstract deadline: 20 May 2022

Manuscript: 15 September 2022

The challenges associated with integrating fisher knowledge contributions relate to both the mechanics of the scientific advisory system and opinions on governing its integrity. Marine science is heavily dependent on fisheries-independent data and fisheries-dependent data from statutory obligations (e.g., catch and effort data). Deliberate contributions from industry to science, for example through science-industry research collaboration (SIRC) are frequently met with questions around conflict of interest, trustworthiness and reliability, hindering their integration in science in support of management. This is problematic in a science policy context where (1) use of best available (scientific) information is prescribed or binding; and (2) budget declines and increasing data and information demands to service ecosystem-based management are expected to result in delegation of responsibilities (and cost) of sampling from government to industry.

While tangible interest in gathering and accessing fishers’ observational knowledge where fishers themselves become scientific data collectors or facilitators, is gaining momentum, the peer-reviewed literature on SIRC tends to focus on challenges in the collaboration and lessons learnt, and not so much on its impact. There are only a few documented examples where SIRC projects made a difference in scientific assessments as part of advisory processes. This Research Topic seeks to contribute to the question of how to integrate knowledge contributions into scientific advisory systems and what it means for how the future of fisheries science is best conducted in the emerging frameworks for responsible research and innovation.

Our focus is explicitly on regions with well-developed scientific advisory systems because this is where issues about the transition in governance and participatory approaches in fisheries are matters of debate rather than necessity. In particular we invite papers that deal with:

– dilemmas in using fisher knowledge contributions and what it means for how the future of fisheries science is best conducted in the emerging frameworks for responsible research and innovation;

– experiences of how fishers’ experiential knowledge from operating in a dynamic socio-ecological system has been incorporated into scientific research in support of fisheries or ecosystem management;

– studies that have overcome, or have been thwarted despite efforts to overcome perceived or real challenges associated with integrating fisher knowledge contribution into current scientific advisory processes, including research integrity concerns.

Research topic page here

If you have questions, please contact Nathalie Steins: [email protected].

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