“In November 2012, a meeting was held in France to define the strategy for our 2013-2014 activities. The general plan for the next two years was defined as following:
Objective 1: to involve and work with stakeholders (fishers, fisher’s association canneries, NGOs) towards sustainable tuna fishing.
- A first set of interviews about sustainability, addressing interviewees’ perception of the concept, will be carried out with both individual fishermen and other stakeholders (scientists, NGO, ship owners and fishing associations), by the end of 2013.
- A common meeting and focus group will be held following the first set of interviews.
- A final set interviews with the same stakeholders will be conducted after the common meeting, in order to assess changes in perception, attitude, beliefs, and strengthen relationships.
During the strategy meeting in France, it was decided that as well as talking to individuals about their beliefs and work, we would also ask stakeholders to take pictures to explain their ideas. This may help stakeholders speak the “same language” to one another, and increase empathy across sectors.
A first draft of the interview format has been established by Gala Moreno and Jefferson Murua, but it is still a work in progress and there is ongoing debate regarding the best approach to take. The Spanish team would like to include some question on sustainability, using a semi-structured interview, while the French team feel that this may be too formal and would prefer to conduct open interviews.
Objective 2: To establish a strategic plan regarding the assessment of the sustainability of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) with stakeholders.
Objective 3: To establish, in collaboration with the fishers, sound ecosystem indexes. The outcome of this process is still unclear, but the idea is to start with scientific literature analysis, select some indicators, and discuss with stakeholders possible ecosystem indicators to be used. We hope to find indicators which provide scientists with the status of pelagic ecosystems under FADs to better monitor the condition of the fishery.”
“At this stage, field activities are mainly related to interviews which will start very soon. There is also on going collaboration of sharing of field echo sounder buoy data between fishers and Spanish scientists.
During 2013, the first set of interviews will be carried out and one meeting with stakeholders has been scheduled. In 2014, our objectives include one meeting with stakeholders, and the production of a book. We may wish to aslo conduct further interviews.”
“Stakeholder participation is working, we have good feedback and interest. Through joint activities, we continue to build and maintain relationships.
We have found that it is easier to talk about fisheries issues than sustainability issues. We have also found that attending particular by meetings (even those related to other projects) contributes to being able to keep the momentum and engagement going.
Meetings, phone calls and report sharing have allowed the flow of information between the researchers and stakeholders.”
“There have been no problems with timings of results being delivered to the stakeholders. In part, this is due to the long-term nature of the issue of environmental sustainability. So fishers are not pushing to have immediate results, even though they are interested in the activities.”