To Define or Not to Define; Implications for the Governability of Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries in the Netherlands

  • Birgit De Vos
  • Marloes Kraan
Part of the MARE Publication Series book series (MARE, volume 13)


This chapter discusses the need to define the small-scale coastal fisheries sector in the Netherlands. It shows that the fact that there is no clear definition of what small-scale fisheries is, affects its governability. This seems to go hand in hand with the lack of a clear perspective on what the problems and opportunities of the small-scale fisheries sector are. This is partly because many small-scale métiers (‘metiers’ is commonly used to describe a fishing activity, which can be characterized by a combination of the area that is fished, the gear that is used, and the species that is targeted ( are out of sight, as they are outside the bounds of data collected, or hidden in ‘default rest categories’ or because of lack of clear representation. We argue that the relative invisibility of the small-scale fishing sector in the Netherlands, its diversity, lack of representation, and the ‘preference’ for specialization of the governing system impacts on the governability of the small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands. In this chapter we apply the theory of interactive governance by describing the governing system and the system-to-be-governed as well as the governing interactions between them to analyze the challenges for small-scale fisheries in the Netherlands.


Definition Governability Small-Scale Fisheries 



We would like to thank Ratana and Svein for their valuable comments and suggestions that have improved the chapter considerably. Our gratitude also goes to Floor Quirijns from Imares, the interviewees, the fishers from the knowledge circles and the two anonymous reviewers who did a very thorough job in reviewing this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEI Wageningen URWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.IMARES Wageningen URWageningenThe Netherlands

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