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Intended and unintended outcomes in fisheries learning exchanges: lessons from Mexico and Madagascar

Gardner, Charlie J. (2016) Intended and unintended outcomes in fisheries learning exchanges: lessons from Mexico and Madagascar. Marine Policy, 77 . pp. 219-226. ISSN 0308-597X. (doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2016.04.040) (KAR id:84416)


Fisheries learning exchanges (FLEs) bring together fisher communities to exchange knowledge and experiences, with the goal of building social capital and disseminating management techniques. However, the effectiveness of the approach has not yet been widely evaluated and no best practice guidelines have been published. In 2015 two groups of octopus fishers from Bahia de los Angeles, Mexico and Sarodrano, Madagascar travelled to Andavadoaka, southwest Madagascar to learn about the temporary fishing closures for octopus used in the region. Octopus fisheries in Madagascar and Mexico differ in several respects, particularly harvesting techniques. The FLE was qualitatively evaluated through participant observation and semi-structured key informant (KI) interviews. Thirty before-and-after interviews were carried out with 16 KIs including visitors, hosts and organisers. Informants suggested that holding the FLE at the same time as the closure openings allowed for learning benefits but carried an important opportunity cost for organisers and host participants, and that shortcomings of planning and translation capacity limited learning opportunities. Several KIs were concerned about the applicability of the Malagasy management model to the Mexican context concerned, and the FLE may have had unforeseen consequences since Malagasy fishers were excited to learn a new fishing method (trapping) from the visitors: if effective, trapping could negatively impact Malagasy octopus stocks. The exchange of knowledge in the FLE was primarily one-way, from host to visitor, and most organisers did not view themselves as participants. Recommendations to improve the effectiveness of future FLEs include: i) improving facilitation and translation capacity to promote dialogue, ii) focusing on key messages, iii) selecting appropriate participants and iv) recruiting a specialist to organise and lead exchanges.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.marpol.2016.04.040
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Depositing User: Charlie Gardner
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 21:56 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 23:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Gardner, Charlie J..

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