, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 591-603
Date: 09 May 2008

Local knowledge and training towards management

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The urgency of managing marine resources is based on the fact that half of the world stocks are fully exploited, excluding those stocks that are already depleted. Artisanal fisheries in Brazil, both inland and coastal, are responsible for about half of the country’s catches. Therefore, management of local artisanal fisheries is a necessity that provides an additional benefit, considering the observation that decentralization and the use of local ecological knowledge (LEK) in management have given better results than centralized, top-down management. In this study, a third system of knowledge–based on practice and training–is built from the local and scientific systems of knowledge, and a method to accomplish practical steps in local management is shown. Four elements are considered for the process of linking systems towards management: (1) an understanding of the natural environment of the fishery and on the use of natural resources by locals; (2) the knowledge of the marine area used by fishers, i.e., location of fishing spots for each species; (3) the understanding of fisher behavior, e.g., using tools from optimal foraging theory; and (4) the knowledge fishers have of the biology and ecology of species and their LEK, based on studies of the ethnobiology, ethnoecology, and ethnotaxonomy of fish. Considering the availability of publications on topics 1 and 2, illustrative cases are shown using optimal foraging models in Itaipu Beach, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Bagre, Cananéia, São Paulo, and using common snook, Centropomus undecimalis, as an example for a target species. Finally, local programs including training courses using both scientific and local knowledge are proposed within coastal artisanal fisheries.

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