Personal Reflections: Lake Constance #GAP2exchange

Lake Constance #GAP2exchange: A team of scientists, fishers, and policy managers from GAP2′s Lake Vättern case study in Sweden traveled to Lake Constance to see what can come out of mutual knowledge-sharing for lake fisheries. In this blogpost, Dr Alfred Sandström shares the personal reflections of some of the participants on the trip.


Johnny out fishing © GAP2

Johnny out fishing © GAP2

“This has been a unique trip, considering the broad mix of participants and the explicit focus on fisheries governance.“ - Johnny Ståhl, semi-commercial fisherman in Lake Vättern and GAP2 participant

“Five intense days of meetings and new impressions from research, management, fishing and fish stocking brought new thoughts and ideas to the surface but also raised issues concerning the different governance forms in the two lakes. Travelling and staying together allowed participants to have conversations about fish and fishing that we normally do not have time for. We also gained a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities in the co-management group. A very well organized trip, interested and knowledgeable participants and a fantastic reception by our hosts resulted in a highly memorable trip!” - Marie Kristofferson, Head of the Lake Vättern Fisheries Co-management Group

Happy chairman in hatchery © GAP2

Marie Kristofferson, happy chairman in hatchery © GAP2

“They have a different culture and a different way of viewing how natural ecosystems should be managed. There was always a human part in all of their management, both regarding how they look at man’s interference on nature as well as what services the ecosystem can contribute with. Perhaps it’s due to a different population density? This was perhaps most explicitly reflected in their extensive fish culture and stocking programs.

The whole apparatus around the management was extremely impressive. The resources committed to the lake and its environment and the level of organization and coordination. The whole chain of monitoring, advice, research and decision making appeared to be very efficiently linked to the resource and the stakeholders.

Måns Lindell © GAP2

Måns Lindell © GAP2

The magnitude of introductions of alien species was on a much higher level compared to what we are used to in Lake Vättern. We got the impression that they were not very worried about all these new species, but maybe that was just our interpretation?” - Måns Lindell, secretary and limnologist at the Water Conservation Society of Lake Vättern


“Really nice trip and highly appreciated by the participants. What was missing a little bit was to hear the story of the recreational fishermen. What is specific to their fishery? What types of species do they prefer, what methods do they use etc?

The biggest learning experience in my mind is how the commercial fisheries were organized and how diverse it was. Fishermen were working together instead of seeing each other as competitors. They seemed to be willing (and able) to develop their businesses in other ways than just increasing their effectiveness and catch. More of that in Lake Vättern!” - Karl-Magnus Johansson, at the Water Conservation Society of Lake Vättern

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