Social scientist Dr Marloes Kraan gives an update of GAP2’s Dutch case study investigating self-sampling and discards.
“The GAP2 case study in the Netherlands runs alongside three other projects related to participatory fishery science running in the area. GAP2 represents the opportunity to learn from these on-going activities as well as analyse/present/improve collaboration with scientists and stakeholders, and provides useful lessons for policy making.
In the last six months, Norwegian scientist Maiken Bjørkan visited our case study, and two fishermen have been met. The fishermen explained that they would prefer more feedback throughout the duration of the project, not just at the end. Together, we came up with the idea of producing a regular newsletter for fishermen, providing updates on-going activities and outcomes.
The discard issue is currently highly topical, with much interest on the discard ban. In order to facilitate the exchange of information and the debate on this issue, IMARES built up a web site to be used by scientists, fishermen and policy makers (among others) as a platform to learn and share information on this topic and stimulate a debate.Discarding fish is one of the main topics addressed by Gap2, in terms of understanding fishermen perception on this topic.
Two GAP2 related presentation were given at a conference in Sicily covering observers and monitoring programs, and another presentation will be provided at the upcoming MARE conference also.”
“Over the next three months, we plan to conduct 10-12 interviews with fishermen, on the issue of discards. The interviews will be based on open conversation.”
“To integrate scientific and stakeholder knowledge, we are planning to use maps as visual aids in comparing fishermen’s perceptions with data samples.”
“As to whether stakeholder participation is “working”, I would say, yes – across the three projects. However, for one project there is an evident gap in communication, but this is now going to be addressed.
There are approximately 90 fishermen involved in the three projects.
To keep the momentum going and engage the fishermen, we produce a newsletter, use the web for one project, weekly communications for another, for the third one no communication activities has been established so far.”
Timings & Results
“In general terms there is no problem with the expected timings of results. One of the projects is now preparing a report of progress so far, and this will help inform fishermen about the general results of activities.”
“The activities are going smoothly. As already mentioned, GAP2 is an add on project related to three main project being conducted in the area, so the profile of GAP2 with fishermen is relatively low – but efforts are now being made to change this.”