Keynote address

“Imagine all the people”* Implications of an increasing role of stakeholders (fishers) in fisheries governance and research.
Dr. Marloes Kraan
Thursday 6 March 2014 That there is a role to play for stakeholders (fishers) in fisheries management and research is increasingly being acknowledged. What that role should be, and what it means is however not often that clear. Having fishermen involved in research makes sense as they have a lot of knowledge about where and how to catch fish. Likewise having them involved in management makes sense as compliance improves if rules are understood and agreed upon. Many will acknowledge that fisheries management is more about managing people than about managing fish. Even stronger one might argue that if people depend on fisheries for their livelihood they will have developed rules to manage the activity; thus management and governance is not an act of governments alone. Nevertheless there are a couple of aspects that need to be taken into account. Involving stakeholders in management and research also asks for: time, room to manoeuvre, dealing with uncertainty, discussing underlying principles, dealing with worldviews and knowledge environments, allowing for complexity and it requires new skills for scientists and managers. Based on research in Ghana and the Netherlands I will describe the role fishermen play in fisheries governance and research and reflect upon what is needed. By doing so, 2 big elephants in the room will be addressed; the issue of trust and policy implications of cooperative research.

*John Lennon

Dr. Marloes Kraan

Marloes Kraan is a social scientist in the field of fisheries. Marloes Kraan completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on a reseach in Ghana amongst Anlo-Ewe beach seine fishermen in three villages along the Ghanaian coast. Her PhD thesis provides a detailed empirical description and analysis of the Anlo-Ewe beach seine fishery in Ghana. It shows how the Anlo-Ewe beach seine fishermen actively negotiate livelihood space in a situation of multiple governance structures and migration. Since 2011 she works as a researcher at IMARES (Wageningen University), a leading, independent research institute into strategic and applied marine ecology. She is currently involved in EU projects such as GAP2 and ODEMM and in several national projects that link fisheries, science and policy. Selfsampling approaches are an important theme in here work. She is actively contributing to increasing transdisciplinarity in fisheries research and improving the applicability of social science in fisheries management. She has research experience in demersal mixed fisheries at the North Sea, small scale fisheries in the Netherlands and Ghana, stakeholder participation processes in marine governance and research cooperation projects. Marloes Kraan also is an associate researcher at the Centre for Maritime Research (MARE) in Amsterdam, an interdisciplinary social science network organization that focusses on the use and management of marine resources. Previously, Marloes Kraan has worked as policy officer sustainable fisheries at the Dutch Fish Product Board.