Human Ecology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 167–183 | Cite as

Improving the American Eel Fishery Through the Incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge into Policy Level Decision Making in Canada

  • Amber Giles
  • Lucia Fanning
  • Shelley Denny
  • Tyson Paul
Article

Abstract

Effective management of ecosystems, natural resources, and harvesting practices is essential for ecosystem health and the sustainable use of marine resources. Although the value, importance, and benefits of the incorporation of indigenous knowledge, particularly of traditional ecological knowledge into western science-policy decision-making have been well recognized over the past few decades, suitable mechanisms for collecting and incorporating indigenous knowledge into policy level decision making are not yet well understood. This study examines the Canadian government’s assessment process for the American eel, Anguilla rostrata, as well as the community level management process for the eel fishery in Eskasoni First Nation, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. This case study allows for an exploration of the challenges arising from differing worldviews and possible mechanisms for meaningful integration of indigenous values into governmental policy level decision-making.

Keywords

Indigenous knowledge Knowledge systems American eel fishery Eskasoni First Nation Canada 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Affairs ProgramDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Unama’ki Institute of Natural ResourcesCape BretonCanada

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