The importance of qualitative social research for effective fisheries management

Over recent decades it has become widely accepted that managing fisheries resources means managing human behaviour, and so understanding social and economic dynamics is just as important as understanding species biology and ecology. Until recently, fisheries managers and researchers have struggled to develop effective methods and data for social and economic analysis that can integrate with the predominantly biological approaches to fisheries management. The field is now growing fast, however, and globally, researchers are developing and testing new methods. This paper uses three divergent case studies to demonstrate the value of using qualitative social science approaches to complement more conventional quantitative methods to improve the knowledge base for fisheries management.


Barclay, K., Voyer, M., Mazur, N., Payne, A.M., Mauli, S., Kinch, J., Fabinyi, M., Smith, G. (2017)
Fisheries Research, 186(Part 2): 426-438