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Navigating the Knowledge Interface: Fishers and Biologists Under Co-Management in Chile

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This article examines similarities and differences between the biological and ecological knowledge of small-scale fishers and the professional biologists assigned to work with them under a co-management program for shellfish in Chile. Its main finding is a high degree of internal variability among the knowledge of fishers, which complicates assessment of the degree to which fisher knowledge as a whole differs from scientific knowledge. It finds evidence to support several theories as to why such variability exists, including accounts of fishers acquiring new knowledge from biologists, replacing old knowledge with knowledge provided by biologists, and rejecting knowledge provided by biologists. It concludes that dichotomous portrayals of scientific and nonscientific knowledge are misleading for cases such as this, and that management will have to negotiate the knowledge interface in ways that go beyond abstract calls for knowledge integration.
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Keywords: co-management; fisheries management; fishermen's ecological knowledge; local knowledge; small-scale fisheries; traditional ecological knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography and the Environment,Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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