Societal Transformations and Governance Challenges of Coastal Small-Scale Fisheries in the Northern Baltic Sea
Salmi, Pekka; Arias-Schreiber, Milena; Svels, Kristina (2023)
Springer International Publishing
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Our chapter adds a northern dimension to the discussion about the past, present and future of small-scale fisheries and their governance. For centuries, extraction of fish resources has been of utmost importance in many coastal areas of the Baltic Sea and small-scale fisheries have survived due to the robustness of the social institutions that have helped them adapt throughout periods of economic and social upheaval. Lately, the fishing livelihood has been undergoing a continuous process of contraction and concentration in terms of vessel numbers and employment. Leisure use of water areas, nature conservation and science-based governance systems have challenged fishers’ access to fish resources. Especially in the northern parts of the Baltic Sea, the viability and future of coastal small-scale fisheries is severely challenged by problems caused by fish-eating animals, mainly grey seals and cormorants. We draw upon interactive governance theory to compare experiences on Finnish and Swedish small-scale fisheries governance. Our conclusion is that the present governance system is incompatible with the small-scale fisheries context, and propose creating new co-governance arrangements where small-scale fishers’ interests, values and local knowledge are better integrated into a governance system.
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