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Key steps for operationalizing social–ecological system framework research in small-scale fisheries: A heuristic conceptual approach


  • Partelow, Stefan


Conducting social–ecological system (SES) research in fisheries aimed at aiding the implementation of a management plan that achieves sustainable outcomes remains a significant challenge. Using the Ostrom (2009) [1] diagnostic SES framework is widely utilized and acknowledged as an integral tool for research on SESs. The purpose of this article is to highlight and illustrate a comprehensive and holistic protocol for operationalizing SES framework research and development for adaptively managing small-scale fisheries. The conceptual approach, displayed in an illustrative framework, and article structure are framed around the following six key steps: (1) contextually updating the SES framework, (2) classify the fishery with the updated framework, (3) indentify and analyze data gaps and as many system component interactions as possible, (4) recognize multiple outcomes, (5) develop an adaptive management plan, and (6) implement the management plan and monitor the system. The illustrative conceptual approach additionally integrates stakeholder involvement and system feedbacks. The implementation and support for each step is elaborated on along with exemplary literature relating to the specific case studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Partelow, Stefan, 2015. "Key steps for operationalizing social–ecological system framework research in small-scale fisheries: A heuristic conceptual approach," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 507-511.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:507-511
    DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.09.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Putten, Ingrid & Lalancette, Annie & Bayliss, Peter & Dennis, Darren & Hutton, Trevor & Norman-López, Ana & Pascoe, Sean & Plagányi, Eva & Skewes, Tim, 2013. "A Bayesian model of factors influencing indigenous participation in the Torres Strait tropical rocklobster fishery," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 96-105.
    2. Wood, Apanie L. & Butler, James R.A. & Sheaves, Marcus & Wani, Jacob, 2013. "Sport fisheries: Opportunities and challenges for diversifying coastal livelihoods in the Pacific," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 305-314.
    3. Xavier Basurto & Mateja Nenadovic, 2012. "A Systematic Approach to Studying Fisheries Governance," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 3(2), pages 222-230, May.
    4. Duggan, Deirdre E. & Farnsworth, Keith D. & Kraak, Sarah B.M., 2013. "Identifying functional stakeholder clusters to maximise communication for the ecosystem approach to fisheries management," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 56-67.
    5. Kevin St. Martin & Bonnie J. McCay & Grant D. Murray & Teresa R. Johnson & Bryan Oles, 2007. "Communities, knowledge and fisheries of the future," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(2/3), pages 221-239.
    6. Nicolás L. Gutiérrez & Ray Hilborn & Omar Defeo, 2011. "Leadership, social capital and incentives promote successful fisheries," Nature, Nature, vol. 470(7334), pages 386-389, February.
    7. Jentoft, Svein, 2005. "Fisheries co-management as empowerment," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-7, January.
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    1. Sètondji Ben-Vital Kolawolé Kpanou & Houinsou Dedehouanou & Sylvain Kpenavoun Chogou & Augustin K. N. Aoudji & Thomas Dogot, 2021. "Factors Influencing Small-Scale Fishers’ Individual Perceived Wellbeing Satisfaction in Southern Benin," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(11), pages 1-16, June.
    2. Kennedy Osuka & Sérgio Rosendo & Michael Riddell & Jeremy Huet & Mario Daide & Ercilio Chauque & Melita Samoilys, 2020. "Applying a Social–Ecological Systems Approach to Understanding Local Marine Management Trajectories in Northern Mozambique," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-20, May.

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