Integration of fishers’ ecological knowledge in fisheries biology and management : a proposal for the case of the artisanal coastal fisheries of Galicia (NW Spain)
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TitleIntegration of fishers’ ecological knowledge in fisheries biology and management : a proposal for the case of the artisanal coastal fisheries of Galicia (NW Spain)
ICES Annual Science Conference, Theme Session on Evaluation of Complete Fisheries Systems : Economic, Social and Ecological Analyses : Stockholm, Sweden, 1999
The fisheries crisis of the last decades and the overexploitation of a great number of stocks have revealed that the scientific knowledge available about the dynamics of the marine ecosystems and needed for the management of the fisheries is inadequate. This problem is critical when the management of coastal ecosystems and artisanal fisheries is involved. These systems show a great complexity due to the high number of human factors that influence their functioning (related directly to the exploitation of fisheries resources, but also to other types of activities that originate modifications and destruction of habitats) and to the number of components involved in the fishing activity (usually multispecific, multigear, with a diversified fleet that shows a complex spatial pattern of activity). Moreover, a great number of stocks exploited by coastal artisanal fisheries are invertebrates with a population dynamics that no fits in the finfish models. The efficient and sustainable management of these resources is in general not possible using models designed to finfish stocks exploited by industrial fleets. We analyze the present state of the coastal fisheries in Galicia (NW Spain), paying special attention to the state of the art of the scientific knowledge available, the socioeconomical context, and to the management policies in use. In this sense, the main problems of the present policy directed to the achievement of scientific data and to the management of resources will be identified. We propose to modify the strategies of research in the fishery sciences to introduce the traditional ecological knowledge of the fishers in the management process. This kind of information should constitute a complimentary source to get new knowledge, and for this goal we propose to process it using the mechanisms and tools of the Artificial Inteligence to formalize, objectify and integrate it in the fisheries biology and marine ecology. Some case studies based in this approach will be presented.