top of page

Lessons Learned from Reconstructing Interactions Between Local Ecological Knowledge, Fisheries Science, and Fisheries Management in the Commercial Fisheries of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Murray, Grant; Neis, Barbara; Johnsen, Jahn Petter



Human Ecology



Questions centered on the development of local and traditional ecological knowledge and the relationship of that knowledge to the development of conservation and management practices have recently attracted critical attention. We examine these questions with respect to the dynamic commercial fisheries of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The knowledge of fish harvesters coevolves with fishing practices and is embedded in a dynamic socioecological network that extends into and beyond the fisher, fishery households, and communities to include management, technologies, markets, and marine ecological conditions. Changes in these networks have moved knowledge and practices related to fishing in directions defined by policy, science, economic rationality, and new ecological realities. We characterize this movement as a shift along a continuum from local ecological knowledge (LEK) towards globalized harvesting knowledge (GHK) as harvesters become increasingly disconnected from socioecological relationships associated with traditional species and stocks. We conclude with a discussion of how LEK/GHK have interacted over time and space with other knowledge systems (particularly science) to influence management, and suggest that contingent, empirical evaluations of these interactions will provide a fruitful avenue for future interdisciplinary research. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

View PDF:

bottom of page