Kai Wätjen’s blog: After the social science workshop

On the 7th & 8th of February, 2013, the GAP2 project ran a two-day workshop in Chioggia (Venice), Italy to enhance GAP2 scientists’ knowledge in methods used in social science research. You can read about the workshop here.

GAP2 scientist Kai Wätjen of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine research, reflects on a monthly meeting with the fishermen of Chioggia on Saturday morning after the social science workshop.

“After two very exciting and interesting (workshop) days in Chioggia, including a very useful policy workshop by Kari and Martin and an exciting visit to the local seafood market, we were invited by Sasa and his colleagues from the ISPRA to join the monthly meeting with the fishermen of Chioggia on Saturday morning. The meeting was held in the fish market hall, located in the old and busy part of the town and surrounded by a lot of different types of fishing vessels.

After a short introduction about the outcomes of the work shop by Sasa, we had the chance to practice our newly gained social science skills as we “observed” a discussion between fishermen and scientists about the progress of the Italian case study.

The aim of the study is to define the spatial and temporal distribution of the main target species and finally to develop a management plan in collaboration with the fishermen. Thanks to the extremely helpful ISPRA staff who became our own “babelfish” and translated the discussion for those of us who do not speak Italian (I think most of us could only say Buongiorno, Mille Grazie e Arrivederci). It was very interesting for us to follow the discussion, particularly to observe the body language of the people to different topics.

After the meeting we had the chance to introduce our selves and explain something about our fishery partners and our case study’s aims to the fishermen. Sasa translated and moderated for us and it was fun to inform the audience. The fishermen were very interested to hear something about other fisheries and bombarded us with a wide spread of questions. Several discussions developed concerning different topics about policy, technical measures, equipment, income, sustainability labels and many more.

At the end of the meeting, with the sun still shining, we had to leave Chioggia to head to Venezia… but not without first buying some delicious Italian sweets to take home.”

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