, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1057–1069 | Cite as

The Key Role of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors in the Co-managed TURF System of Galicia (NW Spain)

  • Gonzalo MachoEmail author
  • Inés Naya
  • Juan Freire
  • Sebastián Villasante
  • José Molares


Many authors have pointed out the need for simpler assessment and management procedures for avoiding overexploitation in small-scale fisheries. Nevertheless, models for providing scientific advice for sustainable small-scale fisheries management have not yet been published. Here we present one model; the case of the Barefoot Fisheries Advisors (BFAs) in the Galician co-managed Territorial Users Rights for Fishing. Based on informal interviews, gray literature and our personal experience by being involved in this process, we have analyzed the historical development and evolution of roles of this novel and stimulating actor in small-scale fisheries management. The Galician BFA model allows the provision of good quality and organized fisheries data to facilitate and support decision-making processes. The BFAs also build robust social capital by acting as knowledge collectors and translators between fishers, managers, and scientists. The BFAs have become key actors in the small-scale fisheries management of Galicia and a case for learning lessons.


Barefoot Fisheries Advisors Small-scale fisheries Co-management systems S-fisheries Scientific advice Knowledge collectors and translators 



We are in debt with all Asistencias Técnicas in Galicia and the Asociación Galega de Técnicos en Xestión de Recursos Mariños for helping us reconstruct the historical evolution, their comments, help, and daily work. Special thanks to Pedro Ferreiro, Beatriz Nieto, Andrés Simón, Jose-Manuel Parada, Emilio Abella, José Rios, Marta Miñambres, Alberto Garazo, and Carlos Mariño whose collaboration and suggestions were very helpful along this study. Lobo Orensanz, Ana Parma, and Jeremy Prince have been a suggestive discussion forum along years of immense value. The recent visit to Galicia of the ILEK project, leaded by Tetsu Sato, for knowing the TAs model acted as a catalyst for publishing this work. GM and SV thank to World Wide Fund for Nature and Environmental Defense Fund for the kindly invitation to a series of workshops on artisanal fisheries and the fruitful discussions experienced there. The authors also thank Bo Söderström (Editor-in-Chief) for his valuable comments and suggestions that improved the final version of this paper.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonzalo Macho
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Inés Naya
    • 2
  • Juan Freire
    • 3
  • Sebastián Villasante
    • 4
  • José Molares
    • 5
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía AnimalUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain
  2. 2.Grupo de Recursos Mariños e Pesquerías, Facultade de CienciasUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  3. 3.Barrabés NextMadridSpain
  4. 4.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  5. 5.Subdirección General de Investigación e Apoio Científico-TécnicoConsellería de Medio Rural e do Mar, Xunta de GaliciaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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